Sea Turtle Conservation Program

Before 1980, there was no documented sea turtle activity in Miami-Dade County, due mainly to the lack of an adequate beach-nesting habitat.  In 1979, the Park and Recreation Department's Sea Turtle Conservation Program began a comprehensive beach re-nourishment project and in 1980, with the advent of our newly re-nourished beaches, sea turtle activity started to prosper.  Today, the program has documented over 6,886 nests, which has resulted in the release of over 550,300 hatchlings. 

What to do if you see a sea turtle

If you observe an adult sea turtle or hatchling sea turtle on the beach, please adhere to the following rules and guidelines:

  1. It is normal for sea turtles to be crawling on the beach on summer nights. DO NOT report normal crawling or nesting (digging or laying eggs) to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unless the turtle is in a dangerous situation or has wandered off the beach. (on a road, in parking lot, etc.) 
  2. Stay away from crawling or nesting sea turtles.  Although the urge to observe closely will be great, please resist.  Nesting is a critical stage in the sea turtle's life cycle.  Please leave them undisturbed. 
  3. DO REPORT all stranded (dead or injured) turtles to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 
  4.  NEVER handle hatchling sea turtles.  If you observe hatchlings wandering away from the ocean or on the beach, call: 1-888-404-FWCC or *FWC (Mobile Phone)

How you can help

Without the support of the public, the survival of sea turtles on our planet is doubtful.  Here are some ways you and other citizens of Miami-Dade can help: