April is Sea Turtle Nesting Awareness Month.

SPACE COAST, Fla. (April 22, 2014) – Loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles are back on the shores of the Florida Space Coast as a yearly phenomenon begins. Sea turtle nesting season began in March on the east coast of Florida, and April is dedicated to celebrating their yearly return. In fact, nearly 90 percent of all loggerhead nesting occurs in Florida, and a majority of the nesting happens right on Florida’s Space Coast.

The turtles return to their birthplace every two to four years and lay between 80 to 120 eggs in a group called a “clutch.” The soft-shelled eggs are buried in sand by the mother turtle and then incubate for about 60 days. Once hatched, the baby turtles make their way to the ocean, guided by the bright light of the moon.

Beachcombers and visitors are asked to be mindful of the season by limiting lights and staying away from nests and hatchlings.

The best way to get up-close to this wonderful phenomenon is through a guided turtle walk tour throughout June and July. These guided tours are offered through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tour with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society, Canaveral National Seashore in Titusville, the Sebastian Inlet State Park and the Barrier Island Management and Education Center with the Sea Turtle Conservancy. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.visitspacecoast.com.

In the spirit of sea turtle celebration, the Titusville Sea Turtle Festival is June 13-15. The fourth annual festival promotes education and conservation of sea turtles.