Remember sea turtles dig the dark

By Melanie LeCroy
Posted 5/19/21

The 2021 sea turtle nesting season has begun along the Gulf Coast as of May 1. Remember turtles dig the dark.

Three species of sea turtles are known to nest on Alabama’s beaches, and …

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Remember sea turtles dig the dark

Posted

The 2021 sea turtle nesting season has begun along the Gulf Coast as of May 1. Remember turtles dig the dark.

Three species of sea turtles are known to nest on Alabama’s beaches, and each is protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973: the Loggerhead and Green sea turtle and Kemps Ridley. Nesting season runs from May 1 through Oct. 31 and it is important during this time to:

Avoid using flashlights and flash photography on the beach at night.

Turn off outside patio lights and shield indoor lights from shining on the beach at night.

Do not disturb sea turtle nests.

Keep your distance (at least 30 feet) from adult turtles that come on to the beach to nest.

Leave sea turtle tracks undisturbed.

Do not leave beach gear, holes and trash on the beach

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:

  • Any structure or equipment left on the beach an hour after sunset will be removed and disposed of by beach patrol.
  • Individual lodging properties and landowners may allow tents and shelters in designated areas during the day. Learn the rules for your stretch of the beach
  • Keep off the dunes.
  • Observe and obey the Beach Warning Flag System. Double red flags mean the waters are closed for your safety.
  • Be respectful of private property beyond the bounds of your lodging property.

These items are not allowed on beaches:

  • Glass containers
  • Metal shovels or excessive digging
  • Litter
  • Tents or structures larger than 12’ x 12’
  • Overnight camping
  • Fireworks
  • Loud music
  • Fires
  • Pets
  • Vehicles

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.