How to Enjoy the Siesta Key Sea Turtles (and Protect Them) at the Same Time

Sea turtles are just one of the amazing wildlife species visitors may see on their vacation to Siesta Key. There’s even a beach named for them on the island, but it is important to stay aware that you are visiting vital habitat the turtles need for their survival. With few natural predators, sea turtles number one threat is us. But with an effort in conservation and education, more and more Florida visitors are taking steps to learn more about these interesting animals and protect their environment, while still having a fun family vacation to the beach.

There remains a need for us to appreciate sea turtles and their importance to marine and coastal ecosystems. There are ways to enjoy beautiful Siesta Key sea turtles while also protecting them at the same time. So while you’re boating, fishing, or lounging on the beach, keep your litter well stored so it can’t blow into the gulf, and observe marine life from safe distances.

Respect Postage and Blocked Off Areas

The west coast of Florida, particularly around Siesta Key and Sarasota, has the highest density of loggerhead sea turtles. These turtles have very long incubation periods of about three months.

At any point during this time, the eggs are precious and easily destroyed. The city may block off certain beaches due to active nests or current nesting. You can try to spot nests from a safe distance, but do not enter any blocked area under any circumstance.

siesta key sea turtles

No Lights, No Touching

We take great responsibility in education locals and visitors about the wonderful local environment and the marine life. This is why we advocate for responsible viewing.

Some nests may be surrounded by a barricade, but the beach is still open. It is essential you do not shine a light, such as a cell phone, at the nests, or touch the nests. You could cause the eggs to hatch early, after which the baby turtles will almost certainly die.

Dim Your Lights if You Have Active Sea Turtles Nests in the Area

During nesting season, you should dim the light coming from your Siesta Key rentals in the evening. Sea turtles may hatch early because the light is a source of time cycling. Others may hatch “on time,” but the light is disorienting. They may climb up the beach and wind up crushed on a nearby road or abandoned in a field.

Stay informed about local nesting areas to keep your “footprint” as minimal as possible. If you want to take an extra step, you can spend an afternoon filling in sand holes that may trap scurrying hatchlings or throw away trash from the beaches by volunteering with the Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program.

What to Do if You Notice a Problem with Siesta Key Sea Turtles?

Contact the Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program (STCRP) at 941-388-4331 if you notice any problems with nests, adult turtles, or hatchlings.

If a hatchling is not heading toward the ocean or is not on the beach, you are allowed to put it in a bucket with some moist sand, cover the top with a towel, keep it in a dim and cool place, and contact authorities immediately. In other circumstances in which they are not in danger, it is legally forbidden to interfere with them.

You can also contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922 if you notice harassment or vandalism.

There is no doubt that if we remain careless through our actions, sea turtles may cease to be. Obey posted signs, keep the beaches clean, avoid using lights on the beach from May through October, and observe the hatchlings from a distance unless they are not on the beach or headed away from the ocean.

mote marine laboratory

Visit the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

The Mote Marine Lab is a fantastic place to enjoy sea turtles without disturbing them. Here you can visit the “Sea Turtles: Ancient Survivors” exhibit. Watch as some locally-rescued sea turtles thrive in the waters of the aquarium. You may even have an opportunity to touch them!

If you are more informed, you can set a precedent. You can help preserve the marine life that is too often threatened. Get involved and visit Siesta Key during turtle nesting season to see these incredible creatures and gain a new appreciation for them.

Contact us at 941-349-1125 for details on our Siesta Key rentals. They are economical, affordable, and pet-friendly. But most importantly, they give you access to the magical shores of Siesta Key and the diverse wildlife here.


Siesta Key Luxury Rental Properties
5111 Ocean Blvd. Suite B, C & D
Siesta Key, Florida USA 34242
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