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St. Lucie County Code Enforcement Urges Residents and Visitors to Help Protect Sea Turtles

Wiki Commons: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

St. Lucie County - Wednesday June 12, 2024: Last year, St. Lucie County experienced a record number of sea turtle nests with more than 10,500 loggerheads nesting on our shoreline. This year is off to a promising start with close to 2,000 loggerhead nests since the start of the nesting season.

The Sea Turtle nesting season runs from March 1 through November 15. St. Lucie County’s Code Compliance staff reminds residents to keep area beaches sea-turtle friendly this summer.

Every year three species of marine turtles nest along the Treasure Coast, the green, the loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles. All are listed as endangered or threatened species.

Residents, businesses and visitors can help marine turtles by taking a few important steps:

  • Turn off the lights: Between sunset and sunrise. turn off any light sources (such as buildings or flashlights) that are directly visible from the beach or seaward of the primary dune.
  • Pack it out: Remove all unattended beach furniture and other items from the beach at night. This ensures that hatchlings don’t get caught up on their way to the ocean and your possessions aren’t taken out to sea.  Adult marine turtles and hatchlings have died from entanglement in beach furniture.  
  • Tear down the sandcastles and fill in holes: Sandcastles are fun to build but can become deadly traps for marine turtle hatchlings. Be sure to tear them down and fill in any holes before leaving the beach, including holes dug by dogs at Walton Rocks Beach: St. Lucie County’s only dog-friendly beach, located at 6700 South Ocean Drive.

St. Lucie County takes marine turtle protection seriously. Please do not handle marine turtles, their hatchlings or their eggs.
Disturbing marine turtles or their nests violates state and federal laws and carries criminal penalties. To report marine turtle nest poaching, hatchling disorientation, harassment or dead marine turtles, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

For additional tips about keeping our beaches sea-turtle friendly and to see the progress on nesting numbers, visit: