How to be a Courteous Beachgoer During Sea Turtle Season on Amelia Island

The sea turtles are a beloved part of Amelia Island. They come and go as they populate the seas. They’re a pivotal part of the marine world.

Unfortunately, negligence and our own bad habits sometimes get in the way of the sea turtle’s prosperity. Sea turtles are stunning creatures. Did you know that they will often return right back to the same exact beach they left as a newborn to lay their own eggs, many (many!) years later?

Sea turtles are special and they often fall unfairly victim to us.

So you are staying in one of our beachfront rentals on Amelia Island. You love sea turtles. What can you do to make sure the sea turtles thrive?

Baby sea turtles going into the water on Amelia Island, FL

Ignore Them

We want you to appreciate the local sea turtles, we really do! But the best thing you can do for them is to actually ignore them.

If you see a turtle, keep your distance. If you note one of the sea turtle hatching locations, ignore it. Don’t stick your hands in the nest. Don’t go up with your camera and take a picture. Keep a respectful distance from a live turtle or a nest and all is well!

You can play on the beach all you want, but be aware of the turtles and keep a practical distance if one shambles in your direction!

Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Florida sea turtle hatching season approximately runs from March to October. This is important to know not only for your own safe enjoyment of the sea turtles but when to be extra careful.

Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance

If you wind up playing on the beach during the evening hours, you have to note the sea turtle lighting ordinance. Baby sea turtles are drawn to the light of the nearby beachside homes mistaking it for the glow of the moon. This has caused millions of baby sea turtles to be left wandering aimlessly on the roads until they starve or are squished by a driving vehicle.

This is unacceptable. Thankfully, the island has established a strict lighting ordinance. You can contact us for any specific details but in general, it means limiting your outdoor light considerably. We want to keep the beach dark and intimate for the visiting turtles.

Sign Up for an Excavation

Now you may be thinking that the sea turtles are something you can never see close up, and this isn’t necessarily true. It may be possible to schedule special showings for baby turtles hatching on the beach. These go through the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch exclusively. There are also post-hatch excavations where local specialists will review the nests for what is left behind.

Sea turtle tracks on beach in Amelia Island

Fill in Holes

If you plan to dig a big hole in the sand (and you should- it’s fun!), please go back and cover it up. This is one of the main sea turtle safety tips during hatching season, especially since holes predominantly affect the smallest new hatchlings. They fall into a hole and become trapped, eventually being picked off by a bird or buried in the falling sand. Furthermore, always pick up after yourself. This includes trash as well as gear, such as umbrellas and coolers. Turtles can get ensnared in them or just stuck. Not to mention, it’s just plain rude!

We love to share all our exciting and interesting baby sea turtle facts. We take their preservation and care seriously, and we hope and expect all guests who stay in our Amelia Island condo rentals to respect the local nature and wildlife. Seeing a baby or grown sea turtle in the wild is a magical experience. But there may not be many more if we don’t passionately protect and secure the local beaches.