Turtle Nesting Off to Slow Start
Turtle nesting season started May 1 but there are fewer nests than at this time in 2012. June, the start of hurricane season which runs through November 30, is usually the peak of nesting season. There are 161 nests on Collier County and south Lee County beaches, compared to 269 at this time last year. The late start is attributed in part to cooler water temperatures. Turtles prefer about 81 degree F water and the water in the Gulf of Mexico was in the 70s throughout April. Sea turtles take two years to return to their previous nests to each year there are different turtles nesting on the beaches.
Compliance with lighting ordinances have generally been good. Lights have to be off along the beaches by 9 p.m. and furniture off the beaches by 9:30 p.m.