Sea Turtle nesting season is upon us and we need your help to ensure our nesting population is a success! Through Oct. 31, Naval Station Mayport’s beach will be the site of loggerhead, leatherback and green sea turtle nests, which means there will be many hatchlings on their way.

You can be a turtle hero by following a few simple guidelines:

•Close all curtains facing the beach at sunset

•Turn off all unnecessary lights and do not use flashlights without a red lens

•Place timers on lights so they are off by 9 pm.

•Sea turtles use moonlight to guide them back to the water, so it’s important not to confuse them with artificial light during the season. Artificial light from beachfront homes, streetlights or even flashlights can attract the hatchlings away from the safety of the water and lead them to their deaths.

•Remain calm and quiet on the beach after dark, do not use a light source and do not approach a nesting female.

•Avoid leaving large holes and sand sculptures on the beach.

•All dogs on beach must be on a leash at all times.

•Under no circumstance should you touch a sea turtle on shore, as this is a direct violation of federal and state laws.

Did you know? Sea turtles have been around for over 150 million years. Florida’s beaches are home to 90% of all loggerhead sea turtle nests, which makes our beach very important to this threatened species.

For more information, or if you sight an unmarked nest, hatchling or stranded sea turtles, contact Mayport Environmental PWD Patrol immediately at 904-270-6730 or after hours at 904-509-6842.