We’re blessed to share the island with many breathtaking wonders of Mother nature. Incredible creatures, including dolphins, fish, birds including burrowing owls, gopher tortoises and loggerhead sea turtles, depend upon us to tread gently and with care.
Many of our animal cohabitants are on the threatened and endangered species list, including our beloved loggerhead sea turtles. These gentle sea creatures come ashore between May 1 and early August to lay their eggs. On average, the 4 mile stretch of Marco Island Beaches sees 80 nests each year. Baby turtles hatch about 60 days after the nesting occurs, so we see babies emerge beginning in early July and going through the end of October.
During these months, it is imperative that we are especially good stewards of the beaches, to allow these threatened creatures to nest and the babies to hatch. When visiting with us, please remember three very simple but important rules.
First, no bright lights on the beach after sunset, including but not limited to flashlights and flash photography. Artificial lighting disorients the sea turtles, who look for the bright natural light over the gulf to find their way into the water. If they become disoriented, they often end up injured or dead.
Secondly, please keep our beaches clean and flat. Remove everything from the beach upon departure, including all beach furniture and trash. Fill in any holes that are dug, and knock down any sand castles that have been built. When the turtles come ashore to nest, they need a clean beach area to do so. Trash, coolers and furniture left behind will dissuade them and they will sadly return to the gulf without nesting. Trash, debris, beach gear and holes/sandcastles are hazards to turtles working to return to the water, and babies can get trapped in holes or tangled in the trash and die. As these turtles are endangered and only about 1 in 1000 hatchlings will survive to reproduce themselves, we have to do our best to help so the species can continue.
Lastly, Report Injured or Dead Turtles.
In the event you discover an INJURED or DEAD sea turtle, please notify one of the following agencies immediately:
City of Marco Island
(239) 389-5000 (Weekdays)
(239) 793-9300 (Weekdays/Evenings)
Collier County Natural Resources Department
(239) 732-2505 (Weekends)
Page #:(239) 890-6486 (Weekends/Evenings)
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Sea Turtle Stranding Network: 1-888-404-FWCC (3922)
Thank you for caring and doing your part when on our beaches!
We hope to visit with you soon!
Call Us: 239.642.2400