DELRAY BEACH SEES RECORD BREAKING NUMBER OF SEA TURTLE NESTS IN 2019
Thanks to the efforts of the community and Delray Beach Public Works staff, 2019 had 361 sea turtle nests, the highest number ever recorded; beating the previous record of 304.
During the season, 290 loggerhead turtles, 56 green turtles, and 15 leatherback turtles come ashore to nest on the City's beaches. Although Hurricane Dorian and other storms had an effect on sea turtle nesting, with approximately 17% of loggerhead and 21% of green turtle nests washing out, it is still estimated that over 16,500 loggerhead, 3,750 green turtles, and 650 leatherback hatchlings were produced on the City's beaches.
City staff, along with employees from APTIM and Ecological Associates, Inc., hosted several public sea turtle nest excavations. During each event, members of the public were led out to a marked nest to observe the excavation and learn about sea turtle conservation.
The success seen during this season are the result of actions taken to reduce sea turtle disorientation, which occurs when artificial lighting on beaches disrupts the ability of nesting females and turtle hatchlings to find the ocean. The streetlights along A1A were turned off and amber lights were installed along Atlantic Ave. in order to diminish lighting along the ocean. Other efforts to reduce sea turtle disorientation included shielding lights nearby residences and business visible from the beach, keeping the beach flat by filling in holes and knocking down sandcastles, picking up trash, and removing furniture from the beach at night.
Citizens played a valuable role in these efforts and are encouraged to learn more about sea turtle nesting season best practices by visiting Our Beach Projects page.
PDF Version: Press Release 12-03-19 Sea Turtle Nesting Stats