Aug 24, 2021 - News
Why you can't touch baby sea turtles on Florida beaches
Sea turtles hatchlings come from turtle nests located along beaches throughout Florida. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Every spring and summer, sea turtles begin crawling onto our beaches and finding nice, safe spots to lay their eggs.

  • Thousands of those eggs, up and down the west coast of Florida, are now starting to hatch.

Here’s the deal, though: They don’t need your help. As cute as these babies are, they are protected, and they need the experience of crawling from their nests to the water in order to orient themselves to the world.

  • So stay away. Seriously. Any interference, including getting too close, could disorient them and lead them to crawl away from the water.

Here’s what you can do to help, per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

  • Keep our beaches dark. Light from buildings can affect their journey as well. Close your curtains. Turn off all outside lights that are unnecessary.
  • Don’t take flash photos at night. Even selfies.
  • Clear the way. Remove any beach furniture or trash, and fill in any holes that could trap the little guys.

And if you see a turtle that looks sick, injured or dead, call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.