Leatherback sea turtle hatchling. Photo provided by St. Johns County.
VILANO BEACH, Fla. -- The shores of Vilano Beach are home to nearly 60 nests of turtles this year. Many of them have already hatched and the offspring have made their way into the ocean.
This year, the turtles have a greater chance of survival because of the calm storm season. High tides and strong surges can erode the sand from the nest, leaving the eggs unprotected from predators and the sun.
The eggs in the nest take about two months to incubate. When it gets cool enough for the turtles, they emerge and head toward the ocean.
Another reason there are more turtles headed to sea this year is because in 1994, a fishing net ban was put in place in Florida. Twenty years later, more turtles were not caught in those nets, and are ready to reproduce.
Each nest is home to about 120 eggs. There are three types of turtles popular in Northeast Florida: loggerheads, leatherbacks, and green turtles.
First Coast News