Recently my wife and I went for an early morning walk. We are blessed to live a short walk to the beach. We enjoy searching for treasures such as Sea Glass and gold coins from sailing ships lost to the sea long ago. Our glass collection is growing nicely while our gold discovery still eludes us but we do have friends that have found one or more coins. On this day, we found the best treasure ever. We encountered a large group of baby Sea Turtles making their way to the ocean.
Brevard County, Florida, has 72 miles of beach and is part of the world’s largest nesting aggregation site of Loggerhead sea turtles. The nesting season runs from March to October. Leatherbacks typically show up first, followed by loggerhead and finally the Green sea turtle. Sea turtles incubate for about 50 to 60 days. Once the eggs hatch, the baby turtles immediately work their way to the Atlantic.
A low percentage of these little guys will make it to adulthood. The hatchlings have quite a job just to get to the water. Birds often will pick off them off before the water is reached. While it may be tempting to help the baby turtles to make it to the sea, it’s important to remember “hands off the hatchlings.” The process of the slow movement to the beach allows the newly hatched turtles to stretch out. Additionally, turtles imprint on the beach they hatch on and picking them up could interfere with this natural process. We did shoo a few birds away from what they saw as a convenient breakfast buffet.
If you want to invest in protecting these magnificent creatures, follow a few rules. First, if you live on the beach, keep lights off or shaded from the beach. Our county has an ordinance regarding lighting to ensure the turtles don’t confuse artificial light with natural lighting.
Another thing we can do is be sure any holes or sandcastles are smoothed out after a day at the beach. This will reduce obstacles that may prevent the adult turtle from laying her eggs and allow easier ocean access to hatchlings.
If you’re walking the beach to look for turtles, refrain from using a flashlight. Camera flashes will disturb the turtle and cause them to return to the ocean without laying their eggs. It was widely believed that using a red light would not disturb the turtle. This is not true. They still see the light.
Although it seems obvious, never disturb nesting turtles, hatchlings, or their nest. Also, Pick up your trash and anything else you brought to the beach.
If you’ve never seen these magnificent creatures, they should be added to your bucket list. Each area where turtles nest offers resources for you to participate in a Sea Turtle walk safely. Where I live, the following links are helpful in scheduling a walk.
Click below for resources:
Sea Turtles are essential to preserving the beach and ocean environment. If turtles and other species are removed from a habitat, the natural order is disrupted. The ripple effect due to the absence of Sea Turtles would negatively impact the environment.
If you are interested in following the tips listed in this article that have little to no cost, the opportunity for positive returns exists.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.