Destin and the Beaches of South Walton are home to a countless number of marine species. It is not uncommon to see bottlenose dolphins playing casually along the coast, or blue heron tiptoeing gracefully in the surf in search of food. These native species are indicative of the innate luxury and good fortune of being able to visit or live in such a wonderful place. They are also a stern reminder of our responsibility to protect and maintain our coastline. While we make our homes, vacations and our livings along the coastline, several local species require these beaches to continue their existence. Half of all sea turtle species can be found in our coastal waters, but three species in particular build their nests on our beaches. Turtle Nesting Season refers to the timeframe in which these species nest is called .
Native Turtle Nesting Season
Every year, from May through October Loggerhead, Green, and Kemp’s Ridley turtles make their nests directly on the beach. These turtles crawl onto the dry sand (typically at night), dig their nests, lay eggs, cover them and then return to the Gulf. Their nightly crawls are evident by what look monster truck tire tracks circling to and from the high surf line. Sea turtles can only crawl forward. After laying their eggs the turtles don’t typically return to the nest, which leaves the nest vulnerable. Unleashed dogs, birds, raccoons and people are the biggest threat to the nest and the young that hatch.
All turtle species that make their nests on our beaches are endangered. As such, local authorities and organizations take special precautions to ensure that the nests are left undisturbed. If you take long walks on the beach, perhaps you’ve seen a nest fenced off and marked with warnings. Organizations like SWTW are permitted to locate and mark off the nests, but law enforcement helps ensure their protection. If you notice a nest that has not been marked, or one in which the turtles are hatching call Fish and Wildlife Conservation 1-888-404-FWCC. Remember, it is best not to touch the turtles.
We at Excel Watersports are careful to abide by local laws that govern and protect the beach. As such we are mindful of Code Enforcement and Turtle Watch guidelines and help our clients avoid unnecessary exposure. Part of being the best is striving to understand and cooperate, while maintaining our focus of client centered service. For more information about the services we offer please call or email us today!