Pin on the map of Florida showing the location of Destin

Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Destin and South Walton - Help save a life

Here at Newman-Dailey, we enjoy welcoming our guests to the beach and sharing "insider tips" about the Destin area and our beaches. 
One of the joys of living within and visiting the Emerald Coast is getting to catch a glimpse of the wildlife and marine life that call this area home. During the months of May to the end of October, we share our beautiful beaches with nesting sea turtles. There are several types of endangered sea turtles that nest along our shores, including Green Sea Turtles, Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Kemps Ridley Sea Turtles. 
We want to make it easy for Momma sea turtle to make her way to the dunes and lay her eggs in our soft, sandy beaches. In addition, it is our goal that her babies have every chance of survival. While momma sea turtle lays hundreds of eggs, only a small percentage of the hatchlings will survive. 
The great news is that you can help by keeping our beaches CDF - Clean, Dark, Flat. 


Leave No Trace. Before you leave the beach, be sure to take everything back with you that you brought (chairs, tents, coolers, toys, umbrellas, kayaks etc.) as well as pick up any trash you might have brought or any that you find on the beach. Items left on the beach can cause a nesting turtle to have a false crawl and return to the Gulf of Mexico without laying her eggs. While all trash is harmful and dangerous to sea turtles, plastic bags and helium balloons are deadly.  These items end up in waterways and sea turtles easily confuse them for their favorite snack, jellyfish. When they ingest these items, they clog a sea turtle's stomach and intestines causing them to become very ill and/or die. 


Since sea turtles use the light of the moon to guide them back to the water, artificial lighting is very distracting and confusing to nesting sea turtles as well as hatchlings. Therefore, when the sun goes down turn off lights that are on or near the beach, and close blinds to keep interior lights from shining on the beach. All balconies and porches should have soft red, turtle safe lighting as directed by County Ordinances, however, it is good to make sure your rental is in compliance. In addition, if you use a flashlight at night to walk the beach, be sure to pick up a turtle-safe flashlight cover from the South Walton Visitor Center at the corner of Hwy 331 and Hwy 98 in Santa Rosa Beach. Finally, do not use flash photography at night as it can also be distracting and confusing for hatchlings.  


Before you leave the beach, be sure to fill in any holes that were dug during the day. Holes on the beach are dangerous for nesting sea turles, hatchlings and humans. In addition, sandcastles should be flattened each night to keep the beach smooth, making it easier for momma sea turtle to reach the dune and lay her eggs. Be sure to take pictures of the beautiful sandcastles you create but leave only footprints on the beach.

If you find an injured, sick or dead sea turtle, or to report someone disturbing a sea turtle nest call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 1-888-404-3922 or Walton County Sheriff’s office at (850) 267-2000. For more information on local efforts to protect sea turtles, visit South Walton Turtle Watch website.  
Ready to book your next South Walton or Destin vacation? View our collection of Destin vacation rentals online or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652 to help with your search. 
See you @ the beach! 

Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2019