Christy - Marine Biology — 10 May 2012
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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a SEA TURTLE!

It is the end of the semester and the beginning of the summer. This time of year is filled with massive amounts of exams, homework assignments and studying. But, do you know what else it is? SEA TURTLE NESTING SEASON!

Sea turtle nesting season is a great thing for Brevard County. Brevard County is a nesting site for six species of sea turtles, most of which are on the endangered species list. These turtles bring people in from all over the world to see these turtle nests and watch the eggs hatch in the Fall.

Sea turtle nesting season occurs from March 1 to October 31 and is a time where people need to be careful of their beachside actions. Residents and hotels are required to limit their light emissions towards the beach and are regulated by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and the Florida FWS (Fish and Wildlife Service).

Beachgoers must also take care as to not disturb any of the nesting sites or the eggs. If you plan on being in the Melbourne area during this time (August-October), taking a turtle walk is a great way to get your family involved in local nature. The Sea Turtle Conservancy, as well as the Barrier Island Center, does several turtle walks and many of the local hotels offer turtle walks as well.

These walks allow people to see the nests and, if they’re lucky, hatchlings making their journey down to the waterfront. In order for this to successfully occur, people need to make sure that their lights don’t shine onto the beach and that they don’t interfere with the sea turtle nests. The last thing Brevard County needs to have is a high sea turtle mortality rate.

Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Florida is home to six endangered species of sea turtles during nesting season and it is crucial that we protect these creatures. Make sure when you come visit Florida Tech or when you visit the beach during nesting season, that you’re aware of your actions and keep your eye out for mothers and hatchlings!

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Christy Draghetti

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