The National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation supports NOVA Southeastern University Oceanographic Center’s students and Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
Oceanographic Center students are just beginning our 23rd Year of The Sea Turtle Conservation Program. The operation employs 23 field workers who are primarily NSUOC Graduate Students or recent graduates. Students patrol over 38 km of Broward County beaches each morning at dawn, from March 1 through September 30. Endangered Sea Turtle nests are identified, marked, located by GPS and sometimes relocated from intensely lighted beaches to avoid Hatchling disorientation.
Loggerhead yearly nest counts were in decline from 2000 To 2009, but in 2010, 2,282 Loggerhead nests were recorded, which was 26% higher than in 2009, the highest number since 2000.
Green Sea Turtles deposited the second highest number of nests since project inception which was only 4 nests below the record number of 272 recorded in 2008.
Leatherback Turtles continue to nest in Broward County in lower numbers (14 nests last year), but there is a long term increasing trend.
The project depends upon the support and cooperation of the public. A portion of the project is funded by The National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation from donations to their Adopt a Nest Program.
Here are some ways that concerned and interested residents can help:
- As much as possible, refrain from beach activities after dark which may frighten crawling Sea Turtles back into the sea before nesting or cause them to abandon the nest.
- Remember that it is normal to see adult Sea Turtles crawling and digging on the beach in the summer. Do not call the Sea Turtle cell phone number unless you see an adult turtle trapped under furniture, etc. or crawling off the beach (954) 328-0580.
- You may see hatchling turtles on the beach. If they are crawling toward the water do nothing but watch. If they are crawling away from the sea, call the cell phone number (954) 328-0580
- You may see hatchling turtles on the beach. If they are crawling toward the water do nothing but watch. If they are crawling away from the sea, call the cell phone number (954) 328-0580.
- Keep bright lights from shining directly on the beach. This may disorient Hatchlings and cause them to crawl away from the water.
- If you see someone harassing a Sea Turtle, collecting Hatchlings, poaching nests or disturbing nest markers, call the local police. Permitted Turtle workers will have clearly marked shirts.
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