Guest Column: Sea turtle nesting season

Paul M. Waldron, Chairman

St Johns County District 3
Board of County Commissioners

Special to Historic City News

The beaches of St. Johns County are home to several species of endangered or threatened sea turtles. Residents and visitors have a special opportunity and responsibility to protect these magnificent creatures and their vulnerable nesting sites as they return each season to nest along the beaches.

Sea turtle nesting season began May 1st and St. Johns County officials are asking residents, visitors, and businesses to help protect the turtle’s natural habitat by observing all nesting season laws and regulations.

Between May 1 and October 31, vehicular traffic on the beach is only allowed between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Beach visitors can have a positive impact on nesting sea turtles by taking the following actions while enjoying the beach:

  • Refrain from using fireworks and open fires.
  • Remove ruts and fill in all holes.
  • Remove all chairs, umbrellas, or canopies from the beach before dark.
  • Avoid entering sand dunes and conservation zones (15 feet seaward of the dune line).
  • Refrain from using balloons.
  • Never approach sea turtles emerging from, or returning to the sea. Nesting sea turtles are vulnerable, timid, and can be easily frightened away.

Never push an injured animal back into the ocean. If an injured, sick, or deceased sea turtle is encountered, please call the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch line at 904.824.8304.

St. Johns County is grateful to our volunteers, residents, visitors and businesses for supporting local habitat conservation efforts and keeping our beaches beautiful. For more information, please contact St. Johns County Habitat Conservation and Beach Management at 904.209.3740 or visit

Help us provide the turtles with a safe and clean habitat in which to nest and hatch.  When visiting our beaches, please take only pictures and leave only footprints.