BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -

Time to turn off the lights: Sea turtle nesting season kicks off today in Brevard County and continues until Oct. 31.

According to county officials, Leatherback sea turtles, the largest and rarest of the three species that nest in Brevard County, will start arriving at beaches this month, followed by loggerhead and green sea turtles in May. Leatherbacks can grow from six to eight feet in length and weigh between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds.

Residents are reminded to avoid using lights near the beach, including flashlights and flash photography, as they can disrupt the turtles' nesting instincts. Local lighting ordinances will take effect on May 1 when Loggerheads begin nesting in large numbers.

For more information about sea turtles or alternative lighting solutions, call the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department at 321-633-2016 ext. 52431.