Siesta Key and other surrounding beaches (Lido Beach, Casey Key, Longboat Key, Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach, Venice beach, Casperssen Beach) have a special time of year. From late April to November, it’s turtle nesting season. Sarasota County has the highest density of loggerhead sea turtles nesting on Florida’s west coast. You may notice areas roped off and marked with caution tape indicating a sea turtle nest. During this time, sea turtles come up on the beaches and dig into the sand to lay their eggs. On average, turtles lay 100-120 eggs in a nest and about five to seven nests in one season. After about 55 days, the hatchlings break out and crawl down to the water. If you are in the right place at the right time, you may see five of Florida’s 30 different types of turtles on your visit to South Florida, including loggerhead, leatherback, green, hawksbill and Kemp’s ridley. There’s nothing like the sight of sea turtle hatchlings making their way down to the warm waters of the Gulf.
If you see sea turtle hatchlings that are not making their way to the water or if you notice any unusual sea turtle nesting activity, you are asked to call Mote Marine Laboratory’s sea turtle program at 941-388-4331 for instructions.