Historic City News has learned that an endangered leatherback sea turtle nest has been deposited outside the conservation area on Vilano Beach — north of the Surfside beach access ramp.
In an effort to prevent negative impact to the nest resulting from vehicles on the beach at night, the north beach access ramps at Usina and Surfside will close at 7:30 pm nightly, effective immediately.
Leatherback nests rarely occur in St. Johns County, and this particular nest has been discovered prior to the official state of sea turtle season, which is May 1 through October 31.
As part of the County’s Habitat Conservation Plan, all vehicles must be off the beach by 7:30 pm during sea turtle season, so beginning next weekend all access ramps will close at 7:30 nightly.
For more information about nesting sea turtles or the Habitat Conservation Plan, call Habitat Conservation Coordinator Tara Dodson at (904) 209-3740.