Florida’s sea turtle nesting season runs from March through October on the Atlantic coast, and from May through October on the Gulf Coast.
Last week, volunteers at Boca Raton’s Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, where the turtle hatchlings were collected, joined marine scientists to release by hand 311 loggerhead and 194 green sea turtles onto sea beds off Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The hatchlings, some as young as two days old, came from turtle nests from beaches throughout Florida.
The loggerhead is threatened and the green and leatherback are endangered, but all sea turtles are federally protected. It is against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings or their nests. Signs are posted on beaches during nesting season, as adult females emerge to nest on the beach mostly at night. Only about one in 1,000 baby turtles survive to adulthood.