All sorts of marine animals call the waters of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea home… including sea turtles! Every year from March to October, sea turtle nests begin popping up along the length of the Town’s beaches. During sea turtle nesting season, these giant creatures return to their home beaches (from hundreds, even thousands of miles away!) and crawl ashore to lay eggs. Once they dig up a suitable nesting area, female sea turtles deposit about 100 golf-ball-sized eggs, carefully cover the eggs with sand, and then spread more sand over a wide expanse of the beach to hide the exact location of their eggs. Then the turtles slowly make their way back to the water.
It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida. This season, our Town’s beaches currently hold 162 loggerhead nests, out of the estimated 1900 nests across Broward County. Environmental officials from the Town partnered with students from Nova Southeastern University’s Sea Turtle Conservation Program to identify and conserve new sea turtle nests. Every morning during the season, Nova students visit our beaches in the early hours to mark off the areas, so beach-goers do not accidentally interfere. After the biologists complete their work, Beach Raker crews clean debris and sea wood along the coastline without interfering with the nests.
About two months after the eggs are laid, baby sea turtles hatch, and begin their journey to the water. August is a busy time for sea turtle hatching, so beachgoers can do their part to help these amazing creatures along the way. If you grab a meal to-go from one of our restaurants, please throw all trash in a nearby bin. While enjoying a day in the sand or snorkeling in the water, take note of nesting sites. If you happen to see a turtle crawl ashore at night, (note beaches currently close at dusk) stay at least 10 feet away and please avoid using any type of flash when snapping a photo. Sea turtles could get frightened or confused because they rely on light and reflections from the moon to guide them back to the ocean.
We thank you for your environmental support of these beautiful sea creatures during your visit with us. While you’re here, we invite you to enjoy a relaxing stroll through our Town and encourage you to check out our restaurants and shops. Share your photos from your trip to LBTS with the hashtag #LoveLBTS, and you could be featured on the Town’s feed!
The Town welcomes all beachgoers to enjoy our beaches alongside the Town’s oldest residents – turtles!