It is not often that beach goers get to witness baby sea turtles hatching on Marco Island, FL. Sometimes, a few lucky residents and visitors get to see exactly that.
Our Personal Experience
Larry and I, along with our guests, got a chance to see a nest of hatchlings emerge from the sand and crawl to the ocean several years ago. It was one of the most exciting events that we have ever seen. Mary Nelson (Marco Island’s “Turtle Lady” at that time) and the island’s turtle volunteers were present at our sighting. The turtle patrol monitors each one of the turtle nests on Marco Island on a daily basis. They also record each hatching, meaning they are very busy during the nesting/hatching season.
Rules to Follow
If you are present at one of the hatchings, you will be directed by the turtle patrol and a group of volunteers not to use the flash on your cameras (which can result in arrest), and to stay back behind the nest. Any misdirection on their path to the sea — from artificial lighting to items left on the beach, holes in the sand or people approaching or handling them — may leave the new babies exhausted, lost or dehydrated on the beach, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Turtle season lasts from May through October, so don’t give up on getting to see a hatching! All turtle nests are roped off with yellow caution tape and an information sheet. It is always important to stay behind the roped off areas. Only 1 in a thousand of these little guys will survive to adulthood. Therefore, it is very important to protect these awesome creatures from hatchlings to adulthood.
Tip: Turtle nests usually hatch late at night. However, flashlights are not allowed on the beach during turtle season. Walking the beach on a natural moonlit night might be your best option to see a hatching. Look for a group of volunteers around a marked off nest – this is a good indication they are waiting on a nest to hatch.
Come visit us at Sea Mar Condo. We are located close to both South (Crescent) Beach and Tigertail Beach. Visit our website at https://seamarcondo.com to see our rates and availability. Our website also provides more information on Sea Mar Condo and Marco Island.
Let us help you make the most of your Marco Island vacation!