Viewing sea turtles

Jun 16, 2014

The best months to watch sea turtles nesting on our beaches are June and July.  And the best way is on a guided sea-turtle walk.  A female turtle swims hundreds of miles to our coast, drags her great weight up the beach, digs a nest with her back flippers, deposits about 100 eggs, covers the nest and returns to the ocean.  After a couple of months, baby turtles just two inches long emerge from the eggs and scamper down to the water.  Sea turtles and their eggs are protected under the law, and artificial light can confuse them.  That’s why you should take a sea-turtle walk led by a licensed guide.  You make a reservation in advance.  You join a group about 9 p.m.  A scout goes out and, we hope, finds a nesting turtle within a mile or so.  The guide leads your group to the nest, and you observe the mama, maybe laying her eggs.  But do NOT bring a flashlight or smartphone with a glowing screen.  Eight organizations on the Treasure Coast offer approved sea-turtle walks.  To find the list, go to Google or other search engine, put Florida sea turtle walks in the search box and click on the link to a page maintained by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Happy viewing!  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.