Hatchlings are tiny but mighty
It’s hatchling season on Brevard County beaches, and the Sea Turtle Preservation Society would like to remind beachgoers that “hands off hatchlings” is the best guide to follow. To help these tiny turtles have the best chance at survival, beachgoers can help the most by keeping beaches clean, flat, and dark.
When sea turtle hatchlings emerge from the nest, they crawl to the ocean. These tiny turtles have been doing this since dinosaurs roamed the planet and know what to do. Crawling down the beach to the water allows the hatchlings time to stretch and get ready for the big swim ahead. They might even tumble in the surf a few times, but it’s best not to interfere or handle them.
Sea turtle nests typically hatch at night, and the hatchlings crawl toward the brightest light on the horizon. Please follow local lights out ordinances and keep all visible light off the beaches. By keeping blinds closed and lights turned off, you are helping these tiny turtles head in the right direction.
Before leaving the beach at the end of the day, please remember to remove any obstacles, such as furniture, toys, or trash. Also be sure to fill in holes and knock down sandcastles to provide a clear path to the ocean for hatchlings.
If you do encounter hatchlings heading to the ocean, please give them plenty of space and let them make their own way to the water. Please avoid shining lights on them, and do not touch them or place them in the water.
If you see a sea turtle that is struggling or weak, or a hatchling crawling in the wrong direction, please call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society emergency hotline at 321-206-0646 for guidance.
Thank you for helping sea turtles survive!