Posted by: reefrescue | June 23, 2011

Sea Turtle Hatch Goes Wrong in Ft. Lauderdale

1 in every 3 sea turtle hatchlings go to the lights of the city instead of the ocean, despite strict laws and protections that are not enforced. You will go to prison if you touch a nest, but you can kill the entire nest with a light and nothing will happen.

This video was taken on June 17 2011 on South Ft. Lauderdale Beach. 100% of the nest would have been lost if a volunteer had not been there waiting for it from dusk until dawn all week long.

Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (STOP) nighttime survey volunteers monitor sea turtle nests in Broward County. STOP counts the number of hatchlings that emerge from each nest in real-time on the beach as it happens. This requires many months of long nights on the beach.

Hatchlings that go east to the ocean are left alone. Hatchlings that disorient to lights are documented and recovered in buckets. Rescued hatchlings are released into the sea or taken to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. We do this as volunteers. Code enforcement is paid by tax our dollars, but seem more worried about how tall your grass is than an endangered species dying in our streets.

In 2010, STOP volunteers documented nearly 9,000 hatchlings that disoriented to lights in Broward County. Sadly, we only had enough volunteers to monitor 28% of the total nests. Imagine how many were missed…

Please email to tell them to enforce the law.


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