August 31 2012
If you have been boating in Florida or the Bahamas this past spring and summer, you may have noticed an untold number of sea turtles offshore. For whatever reason, there have been a record number of nests on our beaches this season and particularly in Fort Lauderdale. To date, and prior to tropical storm Isaac, 1163 nests have been surveyed, staked, taped off, numbered, coded (according to the species) and dated from the Commercial Pier south to the jetty of Port Everglades.
Sea Turtle conservation efforts on the part of many, especially Nova University and Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (a volunteer organization) have resulted in the City of Fort Lauderdale doing more to enforce its Lighting Ordinance.* As a result, an enhanced number of sea turtle are making it into the ocean rather than into the streets, parking lots and other shoreline perils that attract them away from the sea. Hopefully this trend will continue. In the meantime, if you live on the beach, please remember to keep your drapes drawn and exterior lights turned off, or replaced with lights that beam down and not out, during sea turtle nesting season.