If you’re here checking out the beaches, you’ll see yellow tape through October. Locals know that means be very careful to avoid disrupting sea turtle nests.

The nesting season starts in March, and south Florida residents take this ritual very seriously. There are even ordinances that keep lights low or dark along A1A, the beach highway, to keep their new-borns, called hatchlings, from going the wrong way and getting smooshed by drivers instead of ocean waves.

Like homing devices, the humongous reptiles always return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs, and local marine life specialists and even governments are very protective.

“Litter on beaches can entangle sea turtles, birds and other wildlife. What can you do to help?  Properly stash or recycle all trash, fill in human-made holes in the sand, and remove all beach toys, gear and furniture from the sand before sunset,” advises Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fishing line can be deadly to sea turtles, water birds and other wildlife, so be sure to dispose of it properly.

On Boca beaches loggerheads and leatherbacks are usually the two species that build their nests here. The city’s Gumbo Limbo Nature Center sea turtle specialists not only keeps a running tab, but conducts serious research and even a rescue number.

Here’s the link to their Turtle Walk and Hatchling Release programs from May 28 to July 3 from 8:45 p.m. to midnight. These rare chances to see the mom sea turtles in action often sell out so don’t wait to make a reservation starting 9 a.m. April 16.

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