Sea turtles nesting on the same beaches year after year is a beautiful phenomenon that Cocoa Beach residents are blessed to say happens in their town. With the beauty of Mother Nature, there are a few things to remember from March 1 through the end of October, so you can make sure not to disturb these animals during their official nesting period.
- Do not disturb nesting or hatching turtles. If you happen to see a turtle during either of these processes, then just keep your distance. It is illegal to get too close to nesting female turtles, to touch or take sea turtles and eggs. They are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act and the Florida Marine Protection Act.
- Avoid going to the beach at night during these months. If you do, then use a red LED flashlight. Also turn the brightness down on your phone as well.
- Use designated paths to the boardwalks. Never walk through the dunes.
- Do not disturb marked or unmarked nests on the beaches.
- Do not use flash photography. Period. The light can disrupt hatchling turtles path back to the ocean. Make sure if you do film them, that your light is off on your phone or camera.
- Turn off or shield lights along the beach because it can confuse hatchlings as they follow the moon back to the sea.
- Fill in holes that beachgoers may have left during the day. Clean up any beach gear that may have been left. Make sure to properly throw away any fishing line left on the beach. This helps clear the pathway for turtles to get back to the sea.
- While on the beach, if you see hurt, dead, or entangled sea turtles, then call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s (FWC) Wildlife Alert hotline 1-888-404-3922, or *FWC (*392) from your cell phone.