Global Range: Distribution is pantropical in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. In some areas this species occurs in higher temperate latitudes due to drifting in ocean currents in conjunction with above-normal sea temperatures or as a normal life history event; young turtles regularly range as far north as New England. Major nesting activity occurs on Ascension Island, Aves Island, in Costa Rica (24,000 females nests each year at Tortuguero), and in Surinam (CSTC 1990). See Hirth (1980) for a map of major nesting beaches.
In U.S. Atlantic waters, green sea turtles occur around the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where small numbers nest (islas Mona, Vieques, and Culebra, and St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix), and a juvenile population exists in eastern portion of Puerto Rican Bank (Collazo et al. 1992), and from Texas to Massachusetts. Relatively small numbers nest in Florida, particularly in Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward counties (CSTC 1990), mostly from Volusia County to Dade County (Ehrhart and Witherington 1992), with rare recent nesting on the Gulf Coast in Santa Rosa County (Ehrhart and Witherington 1992); important feeding areas in Florida include the Indian River, Florida Bay, Homossassa Bay, Crystal River, and Cedar Key (CSTC 1990). Rarely nests in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas.