If you’ve ever visited Destin in late spring, you may have heard beachgoers talk about sea turtle nesting season. You may have seen tourism material covered with vibrant pictures of sea turtles swimming near the Destin shores. It’s not just fantasy promotional material. You can actually find sea turtles in Destin and all along 30A. In fact, in 2017, there were a total of 127 sea turtle nests throughout the South Walton area. However, the endangered nature of many of these sea turtles means that some caution does need to be taken into account. Here’s everything you need to know about finding sea turtles in Destin.

Types of Sea Turtles in Destin

There are seven different species of sea turtles, and you have a chance of seeing most of them in Destin. Two of the most common are green and loggerhead sea turtles, both of which are throughout the world endangered. Green sea turtles can live upwards of 50 years, experiencing a similar lifespan to that of humans. Loggerhead sea turtles, those with a distinctly horned beak, can live as long as almost 70 years. You may also see hawksbill, leatherback, and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles in Destin. Most of these, too, are considered endangered and have certain protections under the Endangered Species Act.

Sea Turtle Season

Sea turtle season usually runs from May through October. In the late spring and early summer, sea turtles will flock to the peac at night to make their nests. They can have over 100 eggs per nest. Most years, South Walton will see about 50 nests, but in 2017, there were as many as 127. Night time beach goers at this time of year are encouraged to keep their distance and keep a careful watch out so as not to disturb any nests. The eggs take about 50-80 days to incubate, so by late summer, the new sea turtles will hatch and make their way back to the ocean. This is a trip they have to make on their own, and again, beachgoers should keep their distance when they see this, but it can still be a fascinating sight to behold.

Sea Turtle Conservation

So what’s the reason for such a large uptick in sea turtle nests in 2017? Most attribute that to the help of the South Walton Turtle Watch. The South Walton Turtle Watch is a group of volunteers who take it upon themselves to locate sea turtle nests on the beach and mark them so as to protect them from beachgoers. The protection of sea turtles due to the Endangered Species Act prohibits hunting, harming, or in any way interfering with sea turtles and their eggs. Only certified members of the SWTW are allowed to interact with sea turtles. In addition, beachgoers are cautioned against using lights that might distract sea turtles in their nesting process, except for turtle friendly lighting — usually a red light.

Want a chance to see sea turtles for yourself next season? Contact Forever Vacation Rentals today to book a vacation rental property for your next Destin vacation.

popular posts

Everything You Need to Know About Winter Fishing in Destin

Everything You Need to Know About Winter Fishing in Destin

It may be that in some parts of the country, the fishing gear has to be put away at the end of the summer (or at least some time in mid-fall) to wait for warmer weather again. But in Destin, where even the cooler temperatures are more mild than anything else, there’s plenty of chance to fish in the autumn or even in winter. Winter fishing in Destin may be...

4 Fun Facts About Dolphins Before Your Dolphin Cruise

4 Fun Facts About Dolphins Before Your Dolphin Cruise

Dolphins are loved throughout the country for their playful dispositions, their athletic flips, and their famed intelligence. If you’re planning a trip to Destin with kids, a dolphin cruise is a sure way to delight the whole family, but it can be enjoyed in a group of adults as well, or even going solo. You’ll learn plenty of facts about dolphins on your cruise, but there’s always more to learn....

Packing for a Winter Vacation in Destin

Packing for a Winter Vacation in Destin

While thousands flock to Destin every summer for the sunny weather and beautiful beaches, winter can be an appealing if less conventional time to visit the Emerald Coast. In the winter, you avoid much of the traffic and crowds of peak season, but maintain the sunny weather and beautiful views. In fact, it can be a welcome respite from winter in other parts of the country. But packing for your...

Browse Categories