Florida's sea turtle nesting season started at the beginning of March and runs through October.
The ritual begins every spring when female turtles climb out of the ocean to lay their eggs on the sand.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking beachgoers to be careful and watch out for sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs.
Leatherback turtle nests already have been documented this year on beaches in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.
“Please respect Florida’s sea turtles by leaving them alone and staying at a distance when you spot them moving across the sand or laying eggs,” said Robbin Trindell, who is responsible for sea turtle management at the FWC. “Sea turtles are resilient species, having been on earth for millions of years, but the turtles and their eggs and hatchlings are especially vulnerable whenever they appear on our beaches.”
Once a female sea turtle digs a nest on the beach with her rear flippers, she deposits about 100 eggs the size of pingpong balls. Then she covers up the nest with sand.
Sea turtle eggs typically incubate for 45 to 60 days, and the hatchlings will emerge on Florida beaches through November.
Three sea turtle species, the loggerhead, green turtle and leatherback, nest regularly on Florida’s beaches.
You can report someone disturbing a sea turtle nest, or report a sea turtle that is being harassed, injured or dead by calling FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC or #FWC on your cell phone.