Sea turtle nesting season starts Thursday


Big year last year in Jupiter despite storms

Sea turtles lay about 100 eggs per nest

Sea turtle nesting season begins Thursday, and experts are hoping for another record-setting eight months on north county beaches.

“This is our best year to date since monitoring programs began,” Dr. Justin Perrault, associate director of research at LMC in Juno Beach told The Palm Beach Post when last year’s season ended Oct. 31. “The numbers show that conservation efforts that were underway 20-30 years ago are now paying off.”

JUPITER READERS: Sign up for the weekly Jupiter newsletter

Loggerhead, leatherback and green sea turtle nests are documented. Yellow tape is used to mark off the nest areas, which should not be approached.

READ ABOUT: LMC’s $14 million expansion.

While leatherbacks, loggerheads and greens are all sea turtles, their behaviors and habitats vary. All are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act because of potential damage from commercial fishing, coastal lighting, boats and other human activities.

LMC is a non-profit organization that rehabilitates and researches sea turtles. About 50 injured sea turtles, such as Amanda, are released into the Atlantic Ocean annually. About 2,000 hatchlings are released annually. The center attracts about 300,000 visitors each year, according to LMC.

The high numbers came last year despite heavy beach erosion this year from Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria.

VIEW: Summary of erosion damage and estimated costs to Palm Beach County beaches

North county beaches were among the worst hit, according to Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management officials. About a third of the total of 450 feet of dry beach lost to the storms was from beaches on Singer Island and north.

READ: Hurricane Matthew caused about $29 million in beach erosion

Local officials figure the storms scraped about 1.4 million cubic yards of sand from Palm Beach County beaches that will cost about $40 million to replace.

LMC officials patrol the beaches most days in north county during sea turtle nesting season that ends Oct. 31. They look for sea-turtle tracks leading to nests where females lay and bury their golf-ball-size eggs in about 3 feet of sand.

SEE: Erosion photos and videos in north Palm Beach County

The efforts to protect nesting turtles include reduced lighting on beaches, the requirement that shrimp boats release sea turtles that get entangled in their nets and public education.

Three records were set last year:

Highest annual nest numbers: 19,088 (The previous record was 16,335).

• Most crawls: More than 51,000 (The previous record was 42,118).

• Most green turtle nests: 7,807 (The previous record was 5,443).

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

NEW: Family of three displaced by Lake Worth apartment fire
NEW: Family of three displaced by Lake Worth apartment fire

Two adults and a child were displaced by a fire that damaged an apartment unit n Lake Worth Monday evening, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue reports.  The fire occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on the 1600 block of South Federal Highway. Crews arriving on scene reported black smoke and flames coming from an apartment building.  Firefighters quickly...
NEW: ‘Pandemonium’ as car crashes into Jupiter plaza
NEW: ‘Pandemonium’ as car crashes into Jupiter plaza

Lucas Matlock had just walked a patient out of his chiropractic practice and gone behind the front desk to grab a drink of water when he heard a “crazy noise” around 5 p.m. Just outside the glass front doors of Matlock Chiropractic at 2525 Military Trail, a white Chevrolet Suburban SUV had jumped the curb, scraped past two other vehicles...
OIG report faults Solid Waste Authority on consultant’s pay, hiring
OIG report faults Solid Waste Authority on consultant’s pay, hiring

The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County made a series of errors in hiring and paying a consultant during a disparity study, according to a report from the county’s Office of Inspector General. That report, undertaken at the behest of Commissioner Paulette Burdick, questioned $104,533 in Solid Waste Authority spending for the consultant...
Cerabino: Affordable ‘military’ parade for Trump in Palm Beach County
Cerabino: Affordable ‘military’ parade for Trump in Palm Beach County

News item: President Donald Trump announced that he was postponing his plan to hold a military parade in Washington in November. Trump had announced in February that he wanted a grand military parade “up and down Pennsylvania Avenue” that would feature “a lot of plane flyovers.” And he ordered the Department of Defense to make...
Jupiter WW II veteran went head-to-head against Celtics legend
Jupiter WW II veteran went head-to-head against Celtics legend

Jerry Remer preferred baseball, but his skills didn’t work for his childhood dream of becoming a shortstop for the New York Yankees. Basketball would be the name of his game. Remer, who now lives in Jupiter, was never drafted by a professional team. Instead, in 1944 at the start of his college basketball career, he was drafted into the U.S. Army...
More Stories