Turtle nesting season begins tomorrow.
That means for the next six months, it’s lights out after dark along local beaches.
Due to funding cuts and increased local nesting, Mote Marine Laboratory will only mark nests once a week, except in areas where the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires nests to be marked
But this year, Mote Marine Laboratory will only mark nests once a week to save money.
To comply with DEP requirements, beach cleaning companies that rake the beaches are contracting with Mote, the Marine Turtle Permit holder with the Florida Dish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for sea turtle research and conservation on Key beaches.
Mote will continue to survey the beaches daily for nests.
Beachgoers and residents should follow these guidelines to avoid disorienting nesting turtles and hatchlings:
• Turn off or shield lights visible from the beach, including flashlights and fishing lights.
• Avoid flash photography.
• Pick up garbage.
• Remove beach furniture and cabanas when you leave the beach.
Nesting season runs from May 1 through Oct. 31.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].