Watch Out! It's Nesting Season at Area Beaches

State park officials are encouraging you to steer clear of nearby nests.

It’s that time of year again when beach-goers must watch their step. You never know what lies beneath the sand.

Florida state park officials say there are hidden treasures down below, ones you don't want to dig up because mama may be nearby.

Doug Campbell, a Gulf Coast Resident, says, “State parks have large billboards that explain what to look for and what not to step on.”

It's shorebird and turtle nesting season, and park officials are urging folks to steer clear of nesting colonies. Some tips they suggest: Keep your pets on a leash when strolling on the beach; turn out the lights come dusk; avoid using flashlights and flash cameras along the shore; and stay at least 300-feet away from nests.

They say taking precautionary measures helps preserve this pristine environment, one that many folks are drawn to.

Naomi Huff, a Panacea resident: “When we were living here a year we had 56 sets of visitors; the next year 52, then the third year I put my foot down.”

Naomi says it was the beautiful scenery and wildlife that lured her to the coast. She sees many sea turtles and birds everyday and would like it to stay that way.

Biologists say the nests are shallow depressions on broad expanses of bare sand.

You can expect the nesting season to last through October.