See Turtles in Destin!
Sea turtles only leave the ocean in order to nest and lay their eggs. Fortunately for us, we get the opportunity to witness this miracle of life right here on the Emerald Coast. The miraculous sea turtles can live up to one-hundred years old. The unfortunate news is that the odds are stacked against the young sea turtles after their hatching. Now is the season for the mother sea turtles to come ashore and dig a nest out to lay her eggs. The small, slow moving babies have a difficult time making it to the ocean with predation from birds, ghost crabs, and foxes. The coast is not exactly clear when the babies make it to the water either. Predatory fish and diving seabirds try to pick the easy targets right out of the water. This being said, the baby turtles do not need any more factors playing against them. As it is, only one out every thousand baby sea turtles will make it to maturity. The South Walton Sea Turtle Watch tries to protect these wonders of nature by locating endangered and threatened sea turtle nests in the area. The site warns that sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act and only those with special permits are allowed to touch nests, turtles, or hatchlings. The site continues on to ask that you always use a red light emitting flashlight on the beach to niot scare the mothers. They also ask that you remove garbage from the beach when you leave, fill in holes in the sand, flatten sandcastles, and lastly, report any sea turtle activity to the Walton County Sheriff. Do your part in keeping these beautiful creatures alive by watching from a distance and reporting a sighting to South Walton!