Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sea Turtle Nesting on Florida's Beaches

From April through September, Florida beaches host the largest gathering of nesting sea turtles in the U.S. Sea turtles once roamed the oceans by the millions, but over the past few centuries, their numbers have been greatly reduced. Since 1980, more than 505,595 endangered sea turtles have been hatched and released through Miami-Dade Parks' Sea Turtle Nesting and Relocation Program. From approximately the end of July to mid-September, the public can participate in the release of hatchlings along Miami's beaches. Beaches with nests are clearly posted as being sea turtle zones, and some of the streets are posted as being less brightly lit during hatching season so that the young turtles can find their way to the water  under the cover of darkness, which helps protect them from predators. Nests on beaches are large mounds surrounded by caution tape. They are very easy to spot! Never disturb a sea turtle nest! 

Did you know?
  • Sea turtles are on the brink of extinction.
  • Only 1 out of 100 hatchlings will reach maturity.
  • Sea turtles have been around since the dinosaur, 60 million years ago.
  • Sea turtles deposit between 80-180 eggs in their nests.
  • Each year, turtles will return to the beach where they laid to deposit their eggs.
  • It's illegal to buy products made from sea turtles or any other endangered species.
You can help:
  • Never disturb nesting turtles nor turtles emerging from the sea.
  • Watch out for disoriented hatchlings or turtles on the road.
  • Be careful while boating to avoid collisions with turtles.
To participate in the hatchling release program, please call 305-361-6767, x120, for reservations during July and August. Programs fill up quickly. $6 fee.

Tuesdays and Fridays, 8:30pm-10pm
Haulover Beach Park
10800 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach.

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8:30pm-10pm
Crandon Park Visitors' and Nature Center
6767 Crandon Blvd. 
Key Biscayne.

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