ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla.-- They're green, egg-laying machines. Sea turtles are once again trying to rear their young.
"The females are basically coming up to lay some eggs," said Tara Dodson with St. Johns County Beach Management.
Sea turtle nesting season in St. Johns County officially begins May 1, meaning there are guidelines to follow. Cars are not allowed on the beach from 7:30 p.m to 8:30 a.m. and flashlights, headlights and any other light need to be turned off.
"It's a small price to pay to keep them surviving," beachgoer Don Stewart said.
The last three years have been record seasons. In 2010, 868 nests were found in St. Johns County. There were 627 in 2011 and 704 in 2012.
For the most part, hatchlings make their move to the ocean at night. A number of things can go wrong during their journey, but beach officials want to make sure we're doing our part to make it easier.
"We don't know what we're going to see this year. We're excited to find out," Dodson said.
Sea turtle nesting season officially runs through October 31. Endangered species are protected by county, state, and federal laws which can impose fines up to $20,000.