If you are planning to visit Fort Myers Beach during the months of May through September, be aware that during this time of the year, the turtles rule the beach!
It is during this period of time that sea turtles begin coming ashore to lay their eggs. 2-3 months after the mother has left her eggs buried in a nest, the infant sea turtles hatch and make the perilous journey back into the ocean. Because the populations of these creatures are so delicate, the State of Florida has created a set of strict laws to protect these gentle creatures.
A few things to keep in mind if you encounter a turtle, a turtle nest or are vacationing on the beach during the early spring and summer months include:
- Do not disturb or approach a turtle on the beach, doing so may disrupt its nesting process or cause injury.
- Fort Myers Beach has a number of volunteer groups that search for turtle nests. These groups create barriers around the nests and hang signs that explain the laws one must abide by when coming in close range of these nests. Disturbance of these nests can amount to jail time.
- At night, consider turning off lights you aren’t using. Many of the beach resorts and businesses have installed special lighting systems to prevent confusing the turtles that are laying nests or hatching. It is during both of these times that the turtles use the moonlight to guide themselves safely to their destination. With extra, ambient lighting, Turtles may get confused which could cause them to get lost or be killed by predators.