SEA TURTLES AND STORMS
The first hurricane expected to impact Brevard County this year is on its way, and STPS knows that many of you are concerned about the nests, hatchlings and nesting adult turtles on our beaches.
This year’s sea turtle nesting season is already a success, and the storm season will not change that fact. Thousands of nests already have successfully emerged and those hatchlings are now in the ocean; after the storm, mama turtles will continue to nest on our beaches as they complete their nesting season.
Here’s what you should know for the safety of both you and our sea turtles:
- Please stay off the beaches when conditions are dangerous and comply with all mandatory beach closures.
- Please leave any exposed eggs and nests on the beach. You may cover an exposed nest with sand, but do not attempt to salvage eggs or move them to another site. Again, please do not collect eggs. Call the STPS hotline at 321-206-0646 for any concerns.
- Please do not search the wrack line for hatchling and posthatchling, or washback, turtles. STPS and other groups have authorized and trained individuals who will survey the beaches as needed.
- Please call the STPS sea turtle emergency hotline at 321-206-0646 or Florida FWC at 888-404-3922 if you find a sea turtle in need.
It’s important to know that sea turtles have been on the planet for more than 110 million years and were swimming in the oceans when dinosaurs roamed the land. To have survived this long, sea turtles and their nesting strategies must be well adapted to hurricanes and their effects.
Nesting sea turtles make several nests over the course of a season. A nesting loggerhead turtle will typically nest three to six times, about two weeks apart, and will choose different locations and different placements on the beach to ensure that at least some of her eggs will hatch.
While it is hard to see the results of erosion, overwash and inundation on sea turtle nests, please know these are natural occurrences that sea turtles are well adapted to overcome.
The biggest threats to sea turtles are human made ones, and STPS encourages you to act in meaningful ways to help sea turtles survive. To learn more about what you can do to help sea turtles, please visit our website: seaturtlespacecoast.org.