Heading To The Beach? Be Considerate Of Sea Turtles

This marks the first weekend of Sea Turtle Nesting Season and the folks who monitor our beaches to protect the animals have some requests for beachgoers.

"If they're digging holes that are down by the water line, that those get filled in...the sand castles get knocked down. We don't want to trap any turtles in those obstacles."

Loggerhead Marinelife Center Senior Researcher Sarah Hirsch also urges you to bring your beach chairs and umbrellas with you when you head home as these items may inhibit turtles from laying their eggs.

She also says that if you should happen to spot a turtle on the beach...

"Keep your distance. Don't try and approach the turtle, touch the turtle. You want to stay well behind her, out of her line of sight. And you want to make sure that you remain quiet."

Beachfront residents are also asked to keep their lights off at night, which is when the turtles nest. But it's also helpful to do so, even if you don't live right along beach.

"These recommendations are not just for the coastal properties, which are obviously the most important, but everybody can do their part by making sure that they're turning off their lights at night."

Hirsch says the sky glow can travel for miles and distract turtles.

The season opened this week on Florida's east coast, but gets underway on the Gulf Coast May 1. It runs through October.

Photo: Getty Images