It happens this time of year: Several species of sea turtles are nesting on Space Coast beaches. Soon, hatchlings will dig out from the sand and make their way to the water. If you see a turtle nesting or a hatchling, what should you do?

Look but don't touch. Watch them from a distance and let nature take its course. If you see an injured or sick sea turtle, call the hotline, 312.206.0646.

If you see a turtle on the beach, never use a flashlight or your cellphone's light - you could be endangering the mother and her eggs. If a sea turtle's nesting is slowed or impeded by people on the beach, it makes them nervous. Unfortunately, they'll sometimes head back to the ocean and get rid of their eggs in the sea. It's called a "false crawl."

Depending on the species, sea turtles are considered endangered or threatened. Either way, interacting with them is illegal. Look, but don't touch. 

If you do find a hatchling, never remove it from the beach. Put it in a container, on damp cloth or paper - never put it in water. Covering it with cloth will keep it calm.

If you find an exposed nest cover it with sand, if you can. Never collect the eggs - disturbing the nest could kill the hatchlings.

Call the hotline - 321.206.0646.

Find out where you can see turtles - and manatees, too - on the Space Coast.