WHERE TO SEE NESTING SEA TURTLES
Text and Photos by M. Timothy O'Keefe These philosophical critters offer considerable entertainment for anglers, divers and tourists. Just look, don't touch, and let the females get on with their egg laying.
Because sea turtles are endangered or threatened species, people taking part in organized turtle watches in the United States are subject to various federal and state laws. Anyone conducting a turtle walk in Florida must have a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (407) 575-5407.
All of the turtle walk programs are on Florida's East Coast since this is where the greatest concentration of nesting occurs. You are not allowed to use a flashlight or take flash photography. For pictures of the egg laying--which you generally are permitted to photograph but verify this ahead of time--you will need fast film and a tripod. At night, even fast film is unlikely to work. Egg laying insures another generation of these gentle creatures.
While researching sea turtles, I discovered several turtle walks which I have described in detail in my book Sea Turtles.
Following is a brief synopsis of a few of those turtle walks.
If you're on Nettle's Island and want to see the sea turtles, check this out!
Florida Power & Light Hutchinson Island
Walks are conducted Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at the FPL St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant on Hutchinson Island. Walks begin at 9PM with an orientation and education program. A limited number of spaces are reserved for guests staying at the three hotels on South Hutchinson Island. Reservations are made by calling (in Florida only) 800-334-5483 after May 15.