It’s Sea Turtle Watching Season Again!
Whether you’re a local, or just visiting–everyone can agree that between the months between May and October can be an exciting glimpse into one of nature’s oldest cycles.
During these months, the sea turtles emerge from the warm Gulf of Mexico waters to nest along the beaches right here in Fort Myers! During the turtle egg-laying season, Fort Myers Florida gets to host several species of turtles, which gives us many opportunities to glimpse them and ensures that no two sightings will be exactly alike.
Species that nest here include: Loggerhead turtles, Hawksbill turtles, green turtles, Kemp’s Ridley turtles, as well as Leatherback turtles. These turtles are annual visitors, and may be returning to the very same beach where they hatched!
While catching a glimpse of a nesting sea turtle—or their emerging offspring—can be a once-in-a-lifetime event, there are definitely some precautions that you should take to ensure that this majestic display will also be there for future generations to enjoy.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help facilitate the safe and responsible viewing of our favorite seasonal guests:
Look, Don’t Touch
The first, and most important, the rule of sea turtle watching is just that—WATCHING! A female sea turtle may deposit as many as 100 eggs in her nest in the sand. She then covers over to hide and protect her precious eggs. Many times, people will mark these areas with markers and tape. If you see any indicators like this, stay back! The turtle eggs need to remain undisturbed by predators and humans alike if they are to survive. Disturbing sea turtles or their nests is a crime in Florida.
Take a Public Tour
There are many safe ways to observe sea turtles, and one of the best is to take a guided tour. These tours vary and can occur at different times during the day. Usually, they are guided by someone who is both careful and knowledgeable. So, in addition to safely observing the turtles in their natural habitat, there is also a good opportunity to learn something.
View by Sea
Another way to safely observe the sea turtles is to avoid the beach altogether. There are many good Fort Myers Boat Tours companies available to take you on a tour around the Fort Myers Beach area, where you can safely observe any activities from the ocean. This is also an excellent choice because most boat tours end in Fort Myers Beach, which takes care of your restaurant needs as well as evening entertainment. Boat tours can be a lot of fun. Combining physical activity with the joy of viewing nature, as well as providing guidance, information, and adult beverages—leaving you to enjoy your time without responsibilities!
No matter how you decide to observe these animals, you can count on a magical experience for everyone involved. Take the time from your vacation—or your regular 9 to 5 grind—to experience sea turtle season for yourself!