Navarre Beach, Florida, is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and diverse marine life. One of the most fascinating creatures that calls Navarre Beach home is the sea turtle, and every year, from May through October, the beach comes alive during sea turtle nesting season.
During this season, female sea turtles make their way to the beach at night to lay their eggs in the sand. Hatching around 60 days later, baby turtles emerge from the sand and make their way to the Gulf’s water. It’s truly a fascinating sight to witness, which is why visitors flock to Navarre Beach to catch a glimpse of these majestic turtles in action.
Sea turtles prefer Navarre Beach because of its lack of light pollution. Our beach is less busy than other nearby destinations, making it ideal for young hatchlings as they leave their nests. Light pollution can disorient the sea turtles, making it difficult for them to find the water.
As exciting as sea turtle nesting season is, it’s also a critical time for conservation efforts. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, five of the seven species of sea turtles found globally can be spotted in the waters of Navarre Beach, including the loggerhead, green, Kemp’s ridley, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles. All these species are considered either endangered or threatened, with some facing the risk of extinction.
To help protect these remarkable animals, Navarre Beach follows strict regulations to ensure that visitors do not disturb the sea turtles during nesting season. This includes restricting tours to daytime only. Beachgoers are advised to avoid shining bright lights or using flash photography on the beach at night, as these can disorient the sea turtles and prevent them from finding their way back to the water after laying their eggs.
This is where flashlight filters come into play. Flashlight filters are special covers that can be placed over flashlights and other light sources to reduce the amount of light they emit. These filters make it easier to navigate the beach at night without disturbing the sea turtles or other nocturnal animals that call Navarre Beach home. Some nearby vacation rentals provide red light filters for their guests to use. You can also pick up a red-light filter that’s compatible with your mobile phone flashlight from the TDO’s information center:
In addition to using flashlight filters, check out our Guide To Sea Turtle Season, which gives you more tips on how to protect sea turtles during hatching season, such as avoiding the use of fireworks and making loud noises on the beach, knocking down sand sculptures, and disposing of litter properly. By taking these small steps, we can all do our part to ensure that these sea turtles continue to thrive in Navarre Beach.
Sea turtle nesting season is more than just an exciting sight for tourists visiting Navarre Beach. It’s an opportunity to support conservation efforts and ensure their survival. By using spotlight flashlight filters and following other guidelines, we can actively participate in saving and preserving the sea turtles for years to come. With a little help from our end, we can protect them and their habitats, ensuring that further generations will also witness these incredible creatures making Navarre Beach their home.