Protect the Endangered Sea Turtles
The Town of Palm Beach is rich in a variety of sea creatures, and the sea turtle is a one of the our cherished and consistently endangered beach-nesting animals. A sea turtle has a normal nesting and hatching season that lasts from March to late October and one that uses the serene beaches of Palm Beach Island for nesting.
The Town of Palm Beach has put an ordinance in place for each beach property owner. They must guarantee that their lights cannot be visible from the beach, to provide a dark environment for the new sea turtles just hatched. This ordinance will make sure that there is no artificial light or extra illumination that could distract the sea turtles from their path to the ocean.
Town of Palm Beach Code Enforcement recommends that turning off lights during this season is your safest bet. If necessary, there are certain bulbs that will not attract the sea turtles. They are referred to low-pressure sodium vapor lighting (LPS).
Is light the only threat to nesting sea turtles? What about the beach nourishment?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has agreed that they can still reconstruct the beach up until May 1st upon a slew of guidelines that must be followed. During the period of March 1st to May 1st, the Town of Palm Beach agreed to hire ecological service workers from a firm in Boca Raton. These workers are to scour the beach from dusk till dawn, guiding new hatchlings to the ocean, in addition to moving nests out of the construction zone.
Recent reports have shown the success in protecting these animals, and moving several Leatherback nests out of the construction area has prevented any nest destruction. More danger lies off the beach for these docile creatures. The large dredges bringing the sand from the ocean are causing a threat to the sea turtles that stay close to shore. Several turtles have suffered mangled flippers and loss of limbs due to the strong suction of the dredge.
Sea turtle advocates are hopeful that with the first stage of the beach nourishment project complete; the sea turtles population will be safe for a little while. The continued beach project will have to front the costs to protect this endangered species.