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Sea Turtle and Coastal Awareness Campaign

 

Sea Turtle Conservatory is dedicated to the protection of sea turtles through outreach, advocacy and education. The league has begun the Sea Turtle and Coastal Awareness Campaign that will help promote a greater understanding of the relationship between inappropriate development in five of Florida's coastal counties and the loss and degradation of both the coastal dune ecosystem and sea turtle nesting habitat.

Florida's natural coastal regions are being put under increasing pressure as the population in coastal cities and towns continues to grow in size and requires additional resources.  Coastal areas contain some of the most fragile ecosystems in Florida and provide habitat to many threatened and endangered animal species.

The campaign increases awareness about the threat to coastal habitats with a focus on five counties: Lee, Sarasota, and Manatee on the Gulf Coast, and Brevard and Volusia on the Atlantic.  The campaign is being funded through a grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Advisory Council on Environmental Education.  The campaign includes information on coastal habitats, threats to coastal areas by unwise development, the importance of protecting Florida's coasts and helpful ways people can reduce their impact.

Sea Turtle Conservatory is working in cooperation with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society in Brevard County, Turtle Time, Inc. in Lee County, Anna Maria Island Turtle Patrol in Manatee County, Mote Marine Laboratory and the Coastal Wildlife Club, Inc., in Sarasota and the Volusia Turtle Patrol in the Daytona and N.W. Smyrna Beach area.

The sea turtle season is from May through October each year, so please remember a few simple things to help protect these magnificent creatures: 

  • It is against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests.  They are protected by both state and federal laws.

  • Avoid using flashlights or flash photography while on the beach at night.

  • Turn off outside patio lights or shield indoor lights from shining directly on the beach at night.  Lights can disturb adults and hatchlings.

  • While enjoying the beautiful beaches during the day, avoid disturbing marked nests and please take your trash with you.

  • When crossing a dune, please use designated crossovers and walk ways.

  • Do not climb over the dunes or disturb the dune vegetation.

 

Contact Lee County Environmental Sciences at (239) 533-8389  for copies of this educational material.