Keep Beaches Clean

Sea turtle hatchling on beach crawling toward ocean with the text, "How to help: Keep our beaches clean."

Keep our beaches clean and safe for sea turtles by doing the following:

Recycle all plastic, glass, and aluminum
Fill any holes near a nest barrier on the beach
Fill in holes on the beach
Dispose of trash properly
Pick up trash
Make sure no light source can be seen from the beach
Don’t shine lights on the beach
Don't possess illegal fireworks at the beach
Don’t bring illegal fireworks to the beach
Remove entanglement hazards from the beach, like tents, recreational furniture, and ropes in the sand
Remove all beach furniture and recreational equipment from the beach at night

Other ways improve beaches for sea turtles:

  • If you keep a catamaran or boat on the beach overnight, please be sure to turn it perpendicular to shore so that the middle is clear for turtles to crawl underneath. Also ensure that no ropes, lines, or sharp objects are hanging over the sides onto the beach.
  • Keep recreational sports equipment secured and up off the sand.  Volleyball nets and lines pose a serious danger to nesting female sea turtles that can become entangled in them when crawling on the beach to nest.
  • Protect and promote healthy beaches by staying off the dunes and using only designated beach access areas.  Do your part to rebuild natural dunes by participating in dune and sand fence planting projects and discouraging further coastal armoring.
  • If you are on a dog-friendly portion of the beach, please be sure to keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.  Dogs off the leash often dig into sea turtle nests and dog feces left on the beach can attract other deadly predators to sea turtle nests, such as ghost crabs and fire ants.
  • Join beach clean up efforts such as the annual International Coastal Clean Up ,  adopt a mile of beach through Volusia County’s Adopt-A-Beach program , or help us clean our adopted mile of New Smyrna Beach four times per year by visiting our volunteer activities page.

If you see a sea turtle on the beach:

Please do not approach a nesting female or hatchling and don not block their path as they are crawling. Turn off all flashlights and flash cameras at night, or use only red LED flashlights as needed. If you find a turtle on the beach during the heat of the day, or if the turtle is in danger, notify a life guard or Beach Safety immediately at 386-424-2345.

Join us!

Are you a local resident who wants to devote some time to protecting sea turtles and our beautiful beaches? We have a number of volunteer activities that may interest you. Some of our members conduct early morning surveys of turtle nesting activity; others are involved in our educational and fundraising programs. Please contact us for more information at