I am touching base regarding the quickly approaching nesting season! We will be starting our surveys on April 1st this season and they will continue until through October 31st. Here are a few reminders for the season, I encourage you to pass this on your employees, vendors, and property owners that may be utilizing the beaches during nesting season (April 1 – October 31).
All vehicles utilizing the beach must wait for clearance of marine turtle activity before accessing any part of the sandy beaches. If you find a sea turtle activity before the April 1st start date, please call me immediately 305-310-3046
All mechanical beach cleaning activities must have an FDEP permit issued. Marine turtle clearance must be given before mechanical beach cleaning can commence.
Please send me a copy of the most up to date FDEP permit if you have not done so already.
Beach furniture should be removed from the beaches when possible. If not possible, condense the footprint and pull as far back on the beach as possible without damaging the dune vegetation system.
Furniture left out on the beaches may be hazardous to marine turtles in that it creates yet another obstacle for them to navigate around (potentially becoming disoriented) and even may become entrapped in which could lead to a stranding event.
Artificial lighting is known to cause sea turtles to crawl in the wrong direction, disorientation. This jeopardizes their nesting frequency and may cause the turtle to strand. Most effected by artificial lighting are hatchlings. Natural lighting is one of the environmental cues that sea turtles utilize to find their way to the water, for, on a natural beach, the reflection of the sky on the water serves as the brightest horizon. Please encourage sea turtle friendly lighting during season.
Miami Dade County, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Sea Turtle Conservancy are hosting a webinar on Sea Turtle Lighting. The workshop is intended for code enforcement personnel, city planners, engineers, builders, architects, or other lighting professionals who may benefit from learning more about sea turtle friendly lighting and the latest products and techniques available to meet sea turtle lighting ordinance requirements. Please see the attached flyer for additional information and feel free to disseminate the attached flyer to those that you feel would be interested.
Miami Dade County Sea Turtle Conservation Program offers lighting sight evaluations for properties. Please disperse my email, Laura.Dell@miamidade.gov, if you have interested property owners.
Any interaction, use of lights (cell phones, flash photos), entering a marked nest area, damaging a nest (marked or unmarked), digging into the nest (marked or unmarked), and the possession of sea turtles and their eggs and/or eggshells is considered harassment and/or unauthorized take under the Florida Marine Turtle Protection Act (379.2431(1), F.S.) and federal Endangered Species Act.
For sick, injured and/or disoriented adult or hatchling turtles, please call Miami-Dade County’s stranding e-line, 305-310-3046.
If you are unable to reach us leave a message and, contact FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, 1-888-404-3922. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
Laura Dell, M.Sc.
Recreation Specialist II / FWC Marine Turtle Permit Holder
Sea Turtle Conservation Program 305-310-3046 Heritage Parks, Beaches, Causeways & Marinas Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces 10800 Collins Avenue, Miami, Florida 33154. www.miamidade.gov/parks