All seven species of sea turtles are either endangered or threatened. The loggerhead is the most common sea turtle found in Pinellas County where nesting and hatching occurs May 1 through October 31.
The Nesting Process
Do Not Disturb Sea Turtles or Hatchlings
Sea turtles can become disoriented from lights and illuminated objects visible from the beach. Most importantly, bright lights disorient hatchlings by attracting them inland where they often die of dehydration, predation or are run over by motor vehicles. It is very important that occupants and managers of beachfront properties minimize the amount of light that shines onto the beach.
You can help!
During beach nourishment projects, scientists permitted by FWC monitor and relocate sea turtle nests as needed. Further in-depth monitoring of sea turtles and their nests occurs for three years following a nourishment project.
Prior to beach nourishment projects, portions of Sand Key had no dry beach and thus no nesting habitat for marine sea turtles. From 2011 to 2019, the annual number of total nests observed along the Pinellas County beaches has risen by more than 400 percent. Without the habitat provided by periodic nourishment projects, the number of nests laid each year would be much lower. In 2020, the nesting numbers decrease. This decrease was seen across the state of Florida.