Sea Turtles

Female sea turtle craws through the sand near the water.
Female loggerhead sea turtle at Fort Pickens Area.


For upwards of 150 million years sea turtles have inhabited the Earth’s oceans. Sea turtles are well-adapted for life in the marine environment. Their large and streamlined bodies, along with their large and powerful fore flippers, allow them to migrate great distances to search for food, to mate, and to nest.

World-wide, only seven species of sea turtles have been identified by biologists. Of these seven, six have been recorded in U.S. waters. Of these six turtles, five have been recorded in the waters of Gulf Islands National Seashore. These include the loggerhead, green, Kemp’s, leatherback, and hawksbill sea turtles.

Gulf Islands National Seashore works to protect and conserve sea turtles by protecting their foraging and nesting habitats. Through partnerships with state and federal agencies and local governments, the national seashore collects data to document the distribution, abundance, and seasonal variation of sea turtle nests to help guide management decisions that can minimize human impacts on sea turtles.

Through education the national seashore increases awareness about the importance of sea turtles, the threats impacting these species, and what actions can be taken to ensure that future generations can cohabitate with sea turtles.

Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle on sand.
Learn about Sea Turtle Species

Five species of sea turtles call Gulf Islands National Seashore home

Sea Turtle tracks lead up a sandy beach away from the camera.
Sea Turtle Nesting

Sea Turtles return to Gulf Islands National Seashore annually to lay nests.

Kemp's Ridley craws through the sand.
Why They Matter

The presence of sea turtles within Gulf Islands National Seashore illustrates the biodiversity and beauty of marine wildlife.

A loggerhead sea turtle with a tracker device attached moves along a sand beach toward water.
Sea Turtles Face Many Threats

All five sea turtles found in Gulf Islands National Seashore are designated as either Endangered or Threatened.

Three people take light measurements of the sky at night.
Ways You Can Help Sea Turtles

There are many ways you can help sea turtles at Gulf Islands National Seashore!

Last updated: March 7, 2024

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1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563

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