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What to know as turtle nesting season approaches

A green sea turtle hatchling makes its way to the Gulf.
A green sea turtle hatchling makes its way to the Gulf.
Image courtesy of Marc Ellis
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Sea turtle nesting season officially begins on May 1. But nests may start appearing earlier like in recent years.

With that in mind, the town of Longboat Key's "Flip a Switch, Save Our Turtles" initiative will soon be in effect. 

That means that any lights that are visible from the beach need to be turned off or shielded. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages people to turn off any lights that aren't necessary at night during nesting season. 

Alternatively, turtle-friendly bulbs and fixtures can be installed. That includes replacing high-intensity bulbs, like iridescent, with amber, orange or red LED bulbs with the lowest wattage possible. 

During nesting season, the town also requires property owners to remove temporary structures from the beach every night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. 

Failure to comply with these regulations during nesting season could result in code enforcement violations. 

Longboat Key Turtle Watch's free public turtle walks will begin on June 1. 



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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