Volusia's first sea turtle nest in 2024 found in Ormond Beach

Nesting season for sea turtles officially begins on May 1. The nest was found on April 13.

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  • | 9:00 a.m. April 22, 2024
A loggerhead sea turtle nests on the beach. Photo by Jaymie Reneker
A loggerhead sea turtle nests on the beach. Photo by Jaymie Reneker
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Volusia County discovered its first sea turtle nest of 2024 in Ormond Beach on April 13, signaling an early start to the nesting season

Sea turtle nesting season officially begins on May 1 and runs through Oct. 31. This early nesting could signal a bustling few months ahead as hundreds of sea turtles are expected to visit the county's shores to lay their eggs, a Volusia County press release said.

Around 580 nest are typically laid each season, it said, and Volusia County had a record peak of 1,516 nests in 2023.

Baby sea turtles incubate in the sand for two months before digging their way out and crawling to the ocean. Only about one in 1,000 to 10,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood, which can take 10 to 25 years, depending on the species, the press release said. 

Jaymie Reneker, manager of the County's Sea Turtle Habitat Conservation Plan is spearheading efforts to improve these odds with the community's assistance. 

"Our goal is to make Volusia County beaches safe and inviting for humans and sea turtles alike," Reneker said. "We encourage everyone to let the night provide light on our coastline, minimizing the use of artificial lighting."

During the nesting season, it is crucial to shield, redirect, or turn off lights that could shine on the beach in accordance with local sea turtle lighting ordinances. The HCP program provides free educational materials to property owners, who can order these resources through the program's website, the press release said.

Residents and visitors should also adhere to guidelines such as not touching or disturbing the turtles or their nests, using designated beach access points, driving only in designated areas, avoiding flash photography and cellphone lights at night, and using red LED flashlights, the press release said. 

For more information about Volusia County's sea turtle program or questions about sea turtle-friendly lighting, call 386-238-4773 or 386-238-4668 or visit www.volusiaseaturtles.org.


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