Beach visitors can have a positive impact on nesting sea turtles by taking the following actions while enjoying the beach:
• Refrain from using fireworks and open fires.
• Remove ruts and sandcastles at the end of your beach day.
• Do not leave beach chairs or canopies on the beach overnight.
• Flashlights are strongly discouraged as they can harm sea turtles.
• Avoid entering dunes and conservation zones (15 feet seaward of the dune line).
• Refrain from releasing balloons, which can fall into the ocean and harm marine life.
• Never approach sea turtles emerging from or returning to the sea. Nesting sea turtles are vulnerable, timid, and can be easily frightened away.
Never push an injured animal back into the ocean. If you encounter an injured, sick, or deceased sea turtle, please call the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch line at 904.824.8304. Leave only your footprints, providing the turtles with a safe and clean habitat to nest and hatch. St. Johns County is grateful to volunteers, residents, visitors, and businesses for supporting habitat conservation efforts and keeping our beaches beautiful. For more information, please call St. Johns County Habitat Conservation and Beach Management at 904.209.3740 or visit www.sjcfl.us/hcp.