Located as it is on the Gulf of Mexico, the entire Gulf Coast region, including Fort Morgan, is an important habitat for sea turtles. This means visitors may be treated to seeing one of these adorable reptiles while visiting. It also means all guests and residents have a responsibility to protect them and share the beaches with them.

When you rent Fort Morgan beach houses in the summer, you may need to be extra careful about keeping your distance from the sea turtles. During the warm summer nights, turtles come ashore and lay their eggs on the Gulf Coast's soft white sand beaches. Fortunately, many groups in Fort Morgan and at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge are working to protect the sea turtles so we can share the beaches with them for years to come. Here are a few tips you need to know about vacationing in Fort Morgan during sea turtle nesting season. 

Meet the sea turtles

Loggerhead sea turtles are one species that nests and hatches at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.The two turtle species that nest along the Gulf Coast are either threatened or endangered species. The loggerhead is the most common sea turtle in Alabama. This species has been threatened since 1978 and nests three to four times a year. The Kemp's Ridley turtle is one of the rarest in the world and has been endangered since 1970, but females nest at Bon Secour and juveniles swim in the bays and estuaries. While the endangered leatherback turtle, weighing about 1,000 pounds, does not nest in Alabama, it's been known to forage along the coast.

What do sea turtles need?

These species - along with sea turtles across the globe - are threatened or endangered mostly because they are losing their habitats. Development of their nesting beaches, commercial fishing gear, boats, debris and beach erosion caused by storms all threaten sea turtles. When you rent Fort Morgan condos, you will want to take a few steps to ensure you are not disrupting the turtles' lifestyle - and life cycle. 

Sea turtles need dark, quiet beaches to successfully nest, and many females return to the beaches where they were born to lay their eggs. This is why it's important to keep some places, such as the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, unspoiled for future generations of turtles.

How can I help the sea turtles?

When you are staying in Fort Morgan rentals, you can help the sea turtles who may also be in the area by being aware of nests as you enjoy the beaches and shorelines. Also you can protect the turtles by turning off your outside lights at night during nesting season so that hatchlings will not be attracted to the light and head in the wrong direction rather than following the moonlight to the water. If you see a nest or the tracks of a turtle across the beach (which indicates a nest is nearby), you should call 1-866-SEA-TURTLE. This will bring you to Share the Beach, an organization looking to protect the well-being of the turtles along the coast. Of course, never disrupt a nest or turtle when you see it.

If you are staying in Fort Morgan for a while, you may even want to volunteer with Share the Beach. Volunteers for this organization search for and protect nests, which means patrolling a certain spot on the beach or nest-sitting when hatching time is drawing near. Other volunteers work to increase public awareness of the turtles.

Head to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge to learn more about the sea turtles along the Gulf Coast.