Sea turtle nesting season has begun so leave only footprints

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The 2020 sea turtle nesting season has begun along the Gulf Coast as of May 1. Remember to share the beach and leave only footprints.

Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge and Share the Beach recently posted photos and reminders on their Facebook pages of how dangerous holes dug into the sand can be to humans and animals. Nesting sea turtles can fall into holes left on the beach and become trapped or injured. Holes can also create a hazard for first responders during emergencies on the beach and turtle patrols. Last season, one of the share the beach volunteers on morning patrol stepped into a hole and broke her ankle.

During the first sea turtle patrol of the 2020 season, Orange Beach Wildlife Center team members did not find a nest, but they did find a balloon, fishing line and lots of litter. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have a Leave Only Footprints program with rules and regulations.

The following are regulated by local, state or federal laws or ordinances that are enforced on our beaches:

These items are not allowed on our beaches:

For more information about the program, visit AlabamaSeaTurtles.com or email sjohnson@joinACF.org If you think you've found a sea turtle nest, a turtle crawl (tracks left by the female sea turtle as she pulls herself across the sand), or if you see an injured or dead sea turtle, call 1-866-SEA-TURT (1-866-732-8878).

Remember to share the beach and leave only footprints on the Alabama beaches this summer.