Turtles (Sea)


Sea Turtle Nesting Season May 1 – Oct. 31
The beaches of Sarasota County serve as an important nesting habitat for both the threatened loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and the endangered green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtle. Our beaches have supported nesting of both the Kemp’s ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempi) and the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), two of the most endangered species of sea turtles. Sarasota County has the highest density of sea turtle nesting on the Gulf Coast of Florida. All species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered and are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as well as the Marine Turtle Protection Act Chapter 370.12 (Florida Administrative Code).




Turtle Tips
It’s tough being a turtle these days. Artificial light degrades sea turtle nesting habitat, interferes with the sea-finding ability of hatchlings, and may even keep mom’s from laying their eggs. Sea turtle hatchlings disoriented or confused by light from houses, hotels and condos can die from exhaustion, dehydration or are eaten by predators before making it to the Gulf. They have enough challenges ahead once they get in the water without humans making it harder.

Simple ways you can protect sea turtles.
Turn-off outside lights so that they are not visible from the beach. Please don’t use flashlights, flash photography, or fishing lamps on the beach after dark. Close your curtains and blinds. (Didn’t your mom tell you to do this?). And when you finish playing for the day, move your beach furniture and other stuff far away from the shoreline.

For lots more information about turtles visit They have a turtle hospital and they do big time research on turtles, sharks and other sea life.










Check It Out!

Mote Marine Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy.
Sarasota FL
Phone: 941-388-4200

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily 365 days a year
Admission: adults (over 12) $17, seniors (over 65) $16, youth (4-12) $12, children 3 and under free
Have you ever seen a giant squid? Come and see Molly Mollusk, Mote Aquarium’s 25-foot specimen of the Giant Squid, so rare and elusive no one has ever seen one alive! Molly is the centerpiece of Mote’s newest exhibit, “Mysterious Mollusks,” featuring cuttlefish, scallops, green mussels, octopus and various shell exhibits.

Also at Mote is the Shark Attack Theater, Remarkable Rays Exhibit, and 135,000-gallon shark exhibit. Displays at Mote Aquarium explain more than 45 years of research conducted by Mote scientists and encourage understanding and appreciation for aquatic environments. Don’t miss seeing the sea turtle exhibits, and Hugh and Buffet, Mote’s resident manatees. Knowledgeable guides are ready to answer questions about the exhibits and the work of scientists at Mote.

Also available are tours on the Sarasota Bay Explorer for a relaxing one-hour-and-45-minute tour of Sarasota Bay waterways. View nesting sea birds and see firsthand the fascinating creatures living in local grass flats.

More From What to See & Do in Sarasota County

  • Sponsor_SCF
  • Sponsor_SC
  • Sponsor_GCCF
  • Sponsor_SCaVB
  • Sponsor_GCCF