Panama City, FL –
WALTON COUNTY, FL (WMBB) – It is sea turtle nesting season on the Gulf Coast, and many people, tourists and locals alike, are unaware of some of the safety practices that allow sea turtles to thrive during this time.
Turtle watching groups throughout the Panhandle educate beach goers on how to maintain favorable conditions for turtle nesting.
Barb Van Stavern of South Walton Turtle Watch wants to educate visitors to keep beaches clean, dark and flat.
“It is very important to collect all your personal effects so that they do not become obstacles for the sea turtles,” said Van Stavern. “Turn off those lights on buildings at night and only use red lights if you’re on the beach at night… Fill those holes, keep turtles from falling in and protect people as well. “
Some people hunt crabs on the beach at night and often use regular flashlights.
Van Stavern said the lights could distract actively nesting sea turtles or blind unhatched turtles still in their eggs.
“They need beautiful dark beaches to be able to return to the water safely. The artificial light is very disorienting, so if you are on the beaches looking for crabs at night, the use of red lights will help, ”said Van Stavern. “Turning off all those seaside lights on condos and buildings is also pretty good, so orange or red lights are really best for sea turtles.”
Jason Cutshaw with Visit South Walton said the reception center offers customers special flashlights and red light filter stickers to be placed on top of ordinary flashlights suitable for safe crab hunting.
Van Stavern would like to remind beach goers if you see a stranded or dead sea turtle, call the Turtle Watch hotline at (850) 865-4503 before taking any further action.
Turtle watch group shares tips on how to protect nesting sea turtles Source link Turtle watch group shares tips on how to protect nesting sea turtles