Today is World Turtle Day and in Palm Beach County we know how important it is to keep our beaches clean and safe for sea turtles, especially on Singer Island, a vital nesting site.
World Turtle Day was created in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue to bring attention to endangered turtles and tortoises and encourage people to take action to help the turtles thrive.
Across the world, six out of seven sea turtle species are endangered due to humans. The turtles' biggest threats are becoming entangled in fishing gear or plastic litter as well as being poached for the illegal trade of eggs, meat and shells.
A well-preserved white sandy beach, Singer Island is a critical nesting site for Green, Leatherback and Loggerhead sea turtles. The highly endangered Loggerhead is the most common sea turtle found off the Florida coastline and is especially attracted to the pristine beaches on Singer Island to lay its eggs.
Over the last few nesting seasons, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach recorded a record number of nests on the island, ranging from 10,000-15,000. This makes the small 9-mile stretch of beach home to a whole five percent of the world's Loggerhead population.
Nesting season is going on now (March 1st-October 31st) and it's important to keep our beaches clean so the turtles have a refuge for their hatchlings. If you see a nest, this is what you need to do to help protect these animals, according to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center:
-Keep your distance
-Avoid walking on dunes and beach vegetation
-Turn off flashlights at night
-Remove any obstacles inbetween nests and the water
-Fill in holes from umbrellas
For more information from the LMC about local sea turtles, click here.