NESTS Program

Sign-Up for NESTS Things You Can Do Materials to Get You Started Additional Information Participating Organizations

Sea Turtle Conservancy

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom

Sea to Shore

The Ocean Conservancy

Welcome to NESTS - Neighbors Ensuring Sea Turtle Survival!

Do you live on or near the coast in Florida, and want to help sea turtles and their nesting beaches? You can! And it's easy!

Homeowners, Condo Residents, Associations, and Businesses on and near the coast can help protect sea turtles that nest on our neighborhood beaches. During the summer months, 90% of all sea turtles nesting in the continental US occurs along Florida’s beaches. The life of a sea turtle can be challenging but you can help nesting turtles and newborn hatchlings get off to a good start by becoming a NESTS member. Its EASY and FUN for the whole FAMILY!

Please Note: Currently, due to the nature of the activities involved, the program is for people located on and near Florida's sea turtle nesting beaches. However, if you live inland, or in another state, you can still get involved.

Sea Turtle Need Your Help!

During the summer nights, Florida shares it beaches with nesting female sea turtles and newborn hatchlings. But the turtles face numerous challenges:

  • Nesting females are disturbed by bright lights during their night time nesting
  • Baby hatchlings head towards lights from buildings and streets, rather than the safety of the sea
  • Plastic and other litter on the beach can entangle or block turtles going to and from the sea
  • Beach furniture and recreation equipment block and entrap turtles
  • Raccoons and other predators attracted to the beaches by human activities destroy turtle nests
  • Turtles accidently cross roadways and are hit by cars when natural dunes have been removed

But you can help!! The NESTS Program has simple, family-friendly activities for residents and businesses on barrier islands and in beach communities that help sea turtles and protect their nesting habitat.

It's easy! You can become more familiar with sea turtles and some of the challenges they are facing through the NESTS program. This website has information to introduce you to the fascinating world of sea turtles and has lots of activities YOU can do to help them survive. The activities are geared toward sharing information, becoming more informed, and making the right choices to assist nesting turtles and hatchlings.

For each activity you complete you will earn points or "sea turtle eggs." The more tasks you do, the more eggs you earn. The more eggs you earn, the higher your NESTS certification!

  • Earn 100 eggs to become a Bronze-level NESTS PARTNER,
  • Earn 150 eggs to become a Silver-level NESTS GUARDIAN, or
  • Earn 200 or more to become a Gold-Level NESTS CHAMPION.

Based on the county where you live, you will find a list of local resources to help you complete the NESTS activities.

Whether it is working to turn off lights that shine on the beach, learning more about sea turtles from a resident expert, or reducing the amount of litter found on our beaches, you will be part of an inspired community that is ensuring the survival of sea turtles. Once you become a NESTS Member, you will receive awards you can display to show your commitment to sea turtles and their habitats!

We hope you will take a moment to learn more about the program and SIGN-UP to become a NESTS Member!

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NESTS Program Committee

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Funded in part by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program which is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at

NESTS Program
4424 NW 13th St., Suite B-11, Gainesville, FL 32609
Phone: 352-373-6441  |   Fax: 352-375-2449

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