Share the Beach, Save the Turtles

Share the Beach, Save the Turtles

Every year, from May through October, a remarkable natural event unfolds along the pristine white-sand beaches of Alabama: endangered sea turtles arrive to nest. Did you know that only 1 in 1,000 baby sea turtles that hatch will survive to reach adulthood? We need your help as visitors to Alabama’s Beaches to assist us in keeping our beaches safe as a nesting area for these majestic creatures.

How You Can Help Save the Turtles

Avoid using bright lights on the beaches at night:

  • Stop by one of our welcome centers to get stickers to cover your phone flashlight or hand-held flashlight to help avoid disorienting the turtles that are nesting at night. You can also purchase turtle-safe flashlights at local retail stores; plus, most Smartphones have a red light feature in the flashlight app. Flashlights and flash photography can cause nesting sea turtles to become confused and scared, causing the turtle to return to the water before nesting.
    • Yes, you can still see ghost crabs in the sand when using a red filter or red flashlight.
  • Turn off any balcony or outside lights that aren’t turtle-friendly (red/amber shielded lights), and close curtains and blinds to prevent inside lights from shining onto the beach.

What to do if you see a Sea Turtle come on the beach to nest:

  • If you encounter a sea turtle nest, keep your distance and do not disturb the nest.
  • If you see a sea turtle on the beach at night, STAY BACK (at least 30 feet), STAY LOW, and STAY QUIET. Allow her to nest undisturbed, no flashlights or flash photos.
  • To report a nest or nesting turtle, call the Sea Turtle Hotline at 1-866-Sea-Turtle (1-866-732-8878).
  • Always clean up after a day at the beach and leave only footprints. Please note that any items such as chairs, coolers, tents, and boogie boards/flotation devices left on the beach before sunrise or after sunset will be picked up and discarded by beach patrol. Take any trash items with you.
  • Fill in any holes dug in the sand. Any holes dug on Alabama’s Beaches must not exceed 12 inches deep.