What to Know During Turtle Nesting Season in St. Augustine

Turtles making their way to the ocean
by Stephanie

Locals and visitors alike in St. Augustine between May and October must do their part to help sea turtles! Sea turtles of three species (loggerhead, green, and leatherback) come to the beaches of northeastern Florida to lay their eggs. One female can lay up to 100 eggs that incubate for 2 months before hatching and making their way to the ocean.  

What to Do When Visiting St. Augustine During Turtle Nesting Season: 

Leave no trace during a beach day by removing all beach gear and trash you may produce during your day. Be sure to remove your beach chairs, blankets, umbrellas, etc. before dark as they can be obstacles for little hatchlings maneuvering the beach.  

Make sure the sand is smooth and ready for the hatchlings’ journey by filling in any holes and flattening any sandcastles you create during the day. Also, when choosing a spot for your beach day, be sure to give plenty of space to any designated turtle nesting spots you see.  

Finally, turn off all artificial lights once night falls. Hatchlings are guided towards the water by the moon’s reflection on the waves. However, artificial light inland can cause confusion and have the turtles going the wrong way. Help the turtles head towards safety by removing artificial light sources such as exterior lights, closing the blinds or curtains of your St. Augustine vacation rental, and not using flashlights or any other artificial light on the beach.  

Learn More About Turtle Nesting Season in St. Augustine