Between mid-May and the end of October, sea turtles take to the beaches in Daytona Beach, and if you're lucky, you'll spot some of these curious creatures when visiting during this time. While different kinds of sea turtles visit the beaches of Florida every year, the sea turtles in Daytona Beach are mostly green turtles. Because of the fact that the Daytona Beach sea turtles are on the endangered species list, great strides are taken not to upset these marine visitors. Driving on the area beaches becomes more limited, as cars and nesting sea turtles don't mix very well, and you should keep a respectable distance from any turtles that you might see.
Once the Daytona Beach sea turtles start arriving, they immediately look to nest. More often than not, they come ashore at night looking to lay their eggs in the sand. It takes quite a bit of work for a grown sea turtle to crawl out of the water and across the sand, and as such, the nesting process can often take hours. The average female sea turtle lays around 100 eggs in a nest, and these eggs are about the size of a ping pong ball. Once all of the eggs are deposited into a hole, the female turtles use their back flippers to fill the hole with sand. After the hole is filled, it is disguised. The mother turtle then leaves, never to return to the nest again. Since there is no mother to watch over the baby turtles once they hatch, the government has taken steps to help protect them. This includes limiting lighting on the beach, as the baby turtles instinctively follow the brightest lights that they see.
In addition to limiting lighting on the beach, residents and visitors alike are encouraged to keep the area beaches tidy when the Daytona Beach sea turtles are nesting. Removing things like chairs from the beach is recommended, as obstacles to the open water can disrupt the baby turtles' paths to the beach. Tire tracks also confuse the turtle hatchlings, which is why driving on the beach is limited from mid-May to late October. At one point, driving on the Daytona Beach beaches was set to become prohibited altogether, though that didn't sit too well with locals, who were used to the practice. Daytona Beach, which is home to the NASCAR headquarters and the Daytona International Speedway, is a racing Mecca, and that has a lot to do with the car races that were once held on the local beaches. Driving on the beach here has become a way of life in many regards, which is why eradicating it altogether has proven difficult.
Should you be staying near the beach when the sea turtles in Daytona Beach are present, you can do your part to keep them safe by keeping any and all outside lights off. You can also make sure that you remove anything from the beach that you bring, as sea turtles have been known to eat just about anything. This includes debris, and plastic materials pose a specific threat. Knocking down sand castles and other sand sculptures is also recommended before you leave the beach. Don't forget to stay clear when you see any Daytona Beach sea turtles. Scaring a mother turtle in any way, shape, or form can cause her to return to sea, where she will then drop her eggs. It is especially tragic when this happens given the fact that years can pass before the same turtle returns to nest.
As long as you keep your distance from the sea turtles in Daytona Beach, viewing them can be a treat. If you're wondering where to see sea turtles in Daytona Beach, most of the area beaches are good places to look. Even the main beach in Daytona Beach sees its fair share of turtle invasion, though you're better off heading to some of the quieter beaches in the area. The Canaveral National Seashore and Ponce Inlet are two good destinations to consider if you are wondering where to see sea turtles in Daytona Beach, thanks to the fact that these destinations boast some of the least developed beaches in the region.
Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach Shores are two other places that you might make a break for if you are trying to figure out where to see sea turtles in Daytona Beach. The beaches in Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach Shores are generally quieter and more relaxed than the main beach in Daytona Beach, and there are quite a few dunes on these beaches. Dunes make for ideal nesting grounds for the sea turtles in Daytona Beach.