Sea Turtle Monitoring/Coastal Conservation and Resiliency Program
EcoAdventures Sea Turtle and Coastal Conservation conducts scientific research, education and conservation programs pertaining to nesting sea turtles and shorebirds, coastal habitat conservation and the including impacts of climate change.
Before 1980, there was no documented sea turtle activity in Miami-Dade County, due mainly to the lack of an adequate beach-nesting habitat. In 1979, the Park and Recreation Department's Sea Turtle Conservation Program began a comprehensive beach re-nourishment project and in 1980, with the advent of our newly re-nourished beaches, sea turtle activity started to prosper. Today, the program has documented over 6,886 nests, which has resulted in the release of over 550,300 hatchlings.
What to do if you see a sea turtle
If you observe an adult sea turtle or hatchling sea turtle on the beach, please adhere to the following rules and guidelines:
- It is normal for sea turtles to be crawling on the beach on summer nights. DO NOT report normal crawling or nesting (digging or laying eggs) to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unless the turtle is in a dangerous situation or has wandered off the beach. (on a road, in parking lot, etc.)
- Stay away from crawling or nesting sea turtles. Although the urge to observe closely will be great, please resist. Nesting is a critical stage in the sea turtle's life cycle. Please leave them undisturbed.
- DO REPORT all stranded (dead or injured) turtles to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
- NEVER handle hatchling sea turtles. If you observe hatchlings wandering away from the ocean or on the beach, call: 1-888-404-FWCC or *FWC (Mobile Phone).
How you can help
Without the support of the public, the survival of sea turtles on our planet is doubtful. Here are some ways you and other citizens of Miami-Dade can help:
- As much as possible, refrain from walking on the beach at night during the summer months (March through mid-September.). No matter how quiet, humans will often - and unknowingly - frighten nesting sea turtles back into the sea.
- Keep bright lights from shining onto the beach, build shades around the light so the beach is not directly illuminated. The bright lights will disorient hatchlings.
- If you see someone harassing a sea turtle or poaching a nest, call the local police or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (1-888-404-FWCC).
- Do not dispose of plastic bags or trash in the ocean. Plastic bags very closely resemble jelly fish, a favorite food of sea turtles, and will cause illness or death to turtles and other marine life that eat them.
- Stay clear of marked sea turtle nests on the beach.
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