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Camping on Shell Key? No S’mores for You This Summer

Sea Turtle | Shell Key | PInellas County

Pinellas County is banning campfires on Shell Key during sea turtle nesting season.

PINELLAS COUNTY – Campers at Shell Key Preserve will no longer be allowed to have campfires during sea turtle nesting season, which runs from May 1 through Sept. 30. The ban is being initiated because the campfires may illuminate the beach area at night, disrupting the sea turtle nesting process. The new rule is in accordance with state law which prohibits certain activities disruptive to sea turtles. Violations will result in a $118 fine.

From Oct. 1 through April 30, campfires are allowed in the designated camping area on Shell Key, but campfires are prohibited year-round outside of the designated area.

Shell Key Preserve is maintained by Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources. It is located near Fort de Soto but is only accessible by boat. Anyone wishing to camp on the island must have a permit. For information about Shell Key Preserve and to obtain a permit, see For information about the ban, see  For information on sea turtles in Florida, see

Sea Turtles | Sea Turtle Nesting | Shell Key | Pinellas County

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