Turtle Fest Earth Day Event At Fernandina’s Main Beach Park

Celebrate Mother Earth and learn more about Amelia Island’s sea turtle nesting season. Enjoy this family-friendly event featuring lots of live musical entertainment, food trucks and “Kids Corner.”

A celebration of “Mother Earth” & Amelia Island’s Sea Turtle Nesting Season
Main Beach Park in the city of Fernandina Beach is venue of Earth Day Sea Turtle Fest on April 20, 2024.

The first ever “Earth Day Turtle Fest” is happening on Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fernandina’s popular Main Beach Park, sponsored by Beach Junki.

Live Music, Food Trucks, Vendors & Activities For Kids

Visit the Festival’s “Kids Corner” featuring arts and crafts where children can make art to take home. The featured musical entertainment scheduled during the day on Sat., April 20, 2024 is listed below:

  • Bill Ivins (10 AM)
  • Brandon Olson (10:30 AM)
  • Alix Delfs (11 AM)
  • Michelle “Shell” Anders (11:45 AM)
  • Jenn Burns (12:30 PM)
  • Vibe RW (1:15 PM)
  • Kalani Rose (2:15 PM).

Beach Junki’s aim is to promote clean beaches, raise public awareness about beach safety, plastic pollution, and to help protect sea turtles. In recent years, Beach Junki displays have been placed at two city beach access areas — Fernandina’s Main Beach Park and Seaside Park. (Pictured below, the “Beach Toy Borrow Box” at Main Beach Park).

Beach Junki's Beach toy borrow box at Fernandina's Main Beach Park.
Beach Junki’s Toy Box
You Can Help By Keeping Beaches Clean, Dark & Flat

Beach Junki of Fernandina Beach is a 501c(3) non-profit founded back in 2020 by conservationist, Amy Beach. “Our goal is to inspire the community to keep the beach clean, dark, flat and to get involved with an organized beach clean-up,” (see more at the BeachJunki.org website).

Save sea turtles, how to help at the beach. Amelia Island Living magazine.
About Amelia Island’s Sea Turtle Nesting Season

The majority of sea turtle nests, by far, here around the Florida-Georgia border and elsewhere in these two Southern states are loggerheads (Caretta caretta).  During annual sea turtle nesting season (May 1 – October 31st), females that have reached reproduction age land on beaches. They arrive at night to dig nests and deposit eggs.

Sea turtle nest in dunes, sea oats. Amelia Island Living magazine photo. Sea turtle season 2021. AmeliaIslandLiving.com
Sea Turtle Nest in Dunes, Amelia Island

The Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch (AISTW), comprised of a large group of volunteers, closely monitors the beaches during nesting season each year (May 1 through October 31st). As reported by the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, last year “in 2023, we had our first nest on May 8, and excavated our last nest on October 31.” Since 1986, Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch (AISTW) has been monitoring 11.5 miles of Amelia Island’s seashore (the area that’s not part of Florida’s state park system). During last year’s 2023 nesting season, 209 sea turtle nests were inventoried by AISTW.

Monitoring Amelia Island’s Beaches For Sea Turtle Tracks

At dawn during nesting season, volunteers scour the beaches looking for sea turtle tracks in the sand (as seen below), in the 11.5 miles between the north end’s Fort Clinch State Park and the south end’s Amelia Island State Park.

When nests are discovered, they’re taped off as shown (photos by Amelia Island Living during past sea turtle seasons). After it’s been determined that the sea turtle hatchlings have emerged, the nests are excavated three days later by AISTW and inventoried. Nest data is reported to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. 

Amelia Island “Carry On, Carry Off” Rule

Per local beach ordinance, nothing should be left on the beachfront after 8 pm. Any beach gear left behind (chairs, umbrellas, tents, beach shelters, towels, buckets, boogie boards, etc.), can be picked up nightly by patrols and discarded. Please follow the “carry on, carry off” rule or risk losing your stuff. 

Please “leave only your footprints” when visiting Amelia Island’s beachfront. All can help to keep the beaches clean any day of the year by picking up junk found when visiting and utilizing the trash cans positioned along the seashore.

Amelia Island Beach Lighting Ordinances

The city of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County, Florida have beach lighting ordinances, see links below for more information. 

City of Fernandina Beach Ordinance for Outdoor Lighting in Beach Areas

Nassau County Beachfront lighting restrictions for the protection of sea turtles

Related Links

Also visit the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch website for more information about sea turtles including FAQs, local nesting activity, and nest excavation schedule.

See also Beach Junki website to learn about the plastic marine debris that washes up at the beach, and more, or to make a donation to help support this non-profit.