We are at the point in our season where we continue to survey and locate new nests AND we are out checking for any hatching activity.
Average incubation on our beaches is about 2 months so the early season nests should be hatching soon and we are ready! When the hatchlings emerge they will head toward the brightest horizon. Hopefully that will lead them to the water but on our beaches we typically have a lot of disorientation. You can help by keeping the beaches clean, dark and flat. Avoid using lights around the sea turtle nests or any sea turtles seen on the beach. Turn off exterior lights, close your blinds on beachfront properties and remove everything from the beach when you leave for the night.
If you encounter any hatchlings (or nesting turtles) on the beach, please give them space while you stand between them and the dune and refrain from using lights or taking photos. Call the Beach Police at 850-233-5000 and they will inform our permitted Turtle Watch volunteers who will respond to the area to ensure the turtle(s) are protected and make it to the water.
We will announce when a nest has hatched and an excavation has been scheduled. At the excavation we will assess the contents of the nest, collect data, retrieve any hatchlings that did not successfully emerge from the chamber and inform anyone attending about our program and our sea turtle species.
Note: the permit we operate under does not allow us to list nest locations or provide ‘expected’ hatch dates. As with any nature, incubation and emergence are not an exact science and it will happen when the turtles are ready.