Sea Turtle Season Comes to A Close
Did you know the Sea Turtle Season (like Hurricane Season) is almost over? What started back in May of this year, comes to a close at the end of the month. Nesting season in Surfside typically takes place between May 1 and October 31 as the public beach serves as an important nesting area for these creatures and other wildlife.
While we are anxiously awaiting stats for 2019, The Town of Surfside was thrilled to report that the beach was home to a total of 20 nests last year. And even better, all the sea turtle nests hatched! As we come to a close on the 2019 season, Surfside is hoping to report similar results for this nesting season.
Help Protect Sea Turtles and Their Habitats
It is important to keep in mind that South Florida’s beaches are shared with these beautifully unique creatures. Though sea turtles are resilient, their environment can be easily impacted by humans, and that is why Surfside has adopted specific measures in the Town Code for sea turtle protection.
Two Ways to Directly Help Sea Turtles
1. Sea Turtles Are Attracted to Light
Did you know that sea turtles are often distracted and disturbed by light? Many just-hatched sea turtles don’t make it to the ocean because they get distracted by man-made light disturbances. To prevent this, Surfside prohibits tiki torches, bonfires, flashlights, flash photography and fireworks on the beach. If you’re on the beach in the evening, please follow the town ordinance and do not use of flashlights, lanterns or flash photography while on the beach during nesting season.
2. Sea Turtles Are Susceptible to Ocean Litter
Remove all items, such as beach chairs and trash, from the beach at night. This not only helps keep the beach clean for everyone to enjoy, it keeps paths to and from sea turtle nests free from debris and litter so they can come and go unencumbered.
To help keep our oceans free from litter than directly affect sea turtle health, Surfside has implemented a plastic straw ban and prohibited the distribution, sale or use of polystyrene food service articles by food service providers and stores is prohibited in Surfside. If you see plastic straws, single-use plastic items or styrofoam materials in the Surfside area, please help placing the items in the proper trash bin and notify town officials.
Surfside’s commitment to protecting sea turtles is further emphasized in an information display console located within the Turtle Walk. Highlighting the colorful art exhibition, this information console also explains the town’s conservation efforts. Last year, the town unveiled ‘The Adventures of Surfy the Surfside Sea Turtle,’ which was an educational children’s coloring book created to outline the survival challenges that these beautiful creatures face.
If you’d like to learn more about sea turtles, sea turtle conservation, or tips and information to ensure sea turtles have a safe and successful nesting season in Surfside, please click here.
What to do if You See a Sea Turtle
The Town of Surfside takes many measures to make sure our sea turtles are in an environment that allows them to thrive. You can help make all the difference! If you see a sea turtle while on the beach, do not touch or disturb it, just observe from afar.
If it appears to be injured, sick or dead, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) at 1.888.404.FWCC or the Miami-Dade County Sea Turtle Conservation Program at 305.310.3046 and notify local town officials.
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