Sea turtle nesting season has begun! Mote’s team of staff and volunteers officially started monitoring beaches May 1 and will continue to monitor beaches through October.

Coastal residents, business owners and visitors should remember that you really can make a difference and help sea turtles during their annual migration to nesting beaches. Page down for a list of common dos and don’ts to arm yourself with this nesting season.

On June 30, 2008, Turtle Patrol volunteers reported the first nest hatch of the season! The nest was laid May 8 on Siesta Key. Says the Turtle Patrol Coordinators: Let's keep a close eye on those nests! 

Here’s a summary of the action for 2008. Check back weekly for updates. 

Click here for information about the efffects of Hurricane Gustav on the season's nests.

Turtle Nesting Activity and cumulative totals

For the Week of: 

8-31-08 through 9-6-08, and 8-31-07 and 9-6-07
8-24-08 through 8-30-08, and 8-24-07 through 8-30-07
8-17-08 through 8-23-08, and 8-17-07 through 8-23-07
8-10-08 through 8-16-08, and 8-10-07 through 8-16-07
8-3-08 through 8-9-08, and 8-3-07 through 8-9-07

7-26-08 through 8-2-08, and 7-26-07 through 8-2-07
7-20-08 through 7-26-08, and 7-20-07 through 7-26-07
7-13-08 through 7-19-08, and 7-13-07 through 7-19-07
7-6-08 through 7-12-08, and 7-6-07 through 7-12-07
6-29-08 through 7-5-08, and 6-29-07 through 7-5-07
6-22-08 through 6-28-08, and 6-22-07 through 6-28-07
6-15-08 through 6-21-08, and 6-15-07 through 6-21-07

6-8-08 through 6-14-08, and 6-8-07 through 6-14-07
6-1-08 through 6-7-08, and 6-1-07 through 6-6-07

Turtle nesting season along Florida beaches begins May 1 and ends October 31. 
Here are some dos and don’ts that people can remember to help clear the way for nesting turtles:

Do:

If you encounter a nesting turtle, remain quiet and observe from a distance
Shield or turn off outdoor lights that are visible on the beach from May through October
Close drapes after dark and put beach furniture far back from the water
Fill in holes that may entrap hatchlings on their way to the water
Place trash in its proper place

Do Not:

Approach nesting turtles or hatchlings, make noise, or shine lights at turtles
Use flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach
Encourage a turtle to move while nesting or pick up hatchlings that have emerged and are heading for the water
Use fireworks on the beach

Sea turtles are protected under federal law and any harassment or interference with a sea turtle, living or dead, is subject to penalty. If you witness anyone disturbing a turtle or find an injured or disoriented hatchling or adult, please notify agents with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922), the local sheriff’s department, and/or Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Program at 388-4331. If you find a dead or injured sea turtle contact Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program at 988-0212.