What Kinds of Sea Turtles Nest on Florida Beaches?

Hey there, Florida families! 🐢

If you’ve ever walked along the beautiful beaches of Jacksonville or St. Augustine, you might have noticed signs or barriers protecting sea turtle nests. Florida’s coastline is a vital nesting ground for several species of sea turtles. In this blog post, we’re diving into the fascinating world of sea turtles, focusing on the three most frequent visitors to our sandy shores.

The Big Three: Sea Turtles of Florida

1. Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta): Loggerheads are the most common sea turtles nesting on Florida beaches. These magnificent creatures are known for their large heads and strong jaws, perfect for crushing their favorite prey, like crabs and mollusks. Loggerheads typically nest from May to August, laying around 100-120 eggs per nest. Look out for their distinctive tracks leading to and from the ocean!

2. Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas): Green turtles are named not for their shell color, but for the greenish tint of their body fat, thanks to their herbivorous diet. These gentle giants primarily feed on seagrass and algae. They usually nest from June to September and can lay up to 200 eggs per nest. Green turtles have a more streamlined shell compared to loggerheads, making them elegant swimmers.

3. Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea): The leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles, often exceeding 6 feet in length and weighing up to 1,500 pounds! Unlike other sea turtles, leatherbacks have a unique leathery shell instead of a hard one. They feed mainly on jellyfish and can dive deeper than any other turtle species. Leatherbacks nest from March to July and lay about 80 eggs per nest.

Our Role in Protecting Sea Turtles

Sea turtles have been around for millions of years, but they need our help to ensure their survival. Here’s how we can protect these incredible creatures:

Keep the Beach Clean: Litter on the beach can be a hazard for sea turtles. Plastic bags, in particular, can be mistaken for jellyfish and ingested by turtles. Always clean up after yourself and participate in beach clean-up events.

Keep the Beach Dark: Artificial lighting can disorient both nesting turtles and hatchlings, leading them away from the ocean. If you live near the beach, use turtle-friendly lighting and turn off unnecessary lights during nesting season.

Keep the Beach Flat: If you dig holes or build sandcastles, be sure to fill in the holes and knock down the sandcastles before you leave. This helps prevent turtles from getting trapped or hindered during their nesting journey.

Celebrate Florida’s Sea Turtles with Our Special Tee!

Show your love for these incredible creatures with our "Florida Sea Turtles" t-shirt! Available in both youth and adult sizes, this tee is perfect for the whole family (it's also available as a sweatshirt and hoodie).  It’s part of our special collection featuring Florida animals, making it a great addition to your summer wardrobe.

Head over to 904outfitters.com and check our our "Florida" collection and grab a "Florida Sea Turtles" t-shirt for everyone in your family (youth sizes). Let’s celebrate and protect our beloved sea turtles together! 🌊🐢