A PORTRAIT OF THE TAMPA BAY ESTUARY
Nesting season, which stretches from April to the end of October, brings sea turtles ashore on Gulf beaches, where people and predators may pose a threat. Although three species - the loggerhead, the green turtle, and the leatherback - commonly nest along Florida's coastline, most nests in the Tampa Bay area belong to loggerheads.
YOU CAN HELP:
- Never approach sea turtles coming ashore or disturb nesting sea turtles or hatchlings. Turtles produce many eggs, but few hatchlings survive the difficult journey back to sea.
- Volunteers mark sea turtle nests every summer. Please don't disturb these nests or remove signs or tape identifying the nests.
- Preserve nesting beaches and nearshore habitats such as seagrass beds and coral reefs.
- Beachfront property owners should turn off exterior lights in areas where nesting takes place. Bright lights discourage nesting turtles from coming ashore and may disorient hatchlings.
- Support public and private efforts to protect sea turtles and their habitats.