The Miami-Dade County Sea Turtle Awareness Program recently finished another successful season. Turtle nesting season runs from Apr. 1 to Oct. 31, and this year there were over 400 nests from Loggerhead, Green, and Leatherback Sea Turtles.
There were a total of 1,400 participants from various Miami-Dade County Title 1 schools that participated in education outreach. The Sea Turtle Awareness Program consists of a 45-minute PowerPoint presentation that explains the different sea turtle species and their life cycle, as well as some of the dangers that they face throughout their lifetime. The presentation is conducted by a Miami-Dade sea turtle ranger.
These programs were funded by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at www.helpingseaturtles.org.
Before 1980, there was no documented sea turtle activity in Miami-Dade County, due mainly to the lack of an adequate beach-nesting habitat.
In 1979, the Park and Recreation Department’s Sea Turtle Conservation Program began a comprehensive beach re-nourishment project and in 1980, with the advent of newly re-nourished beaches, sea turtle activity started to prosper. Today, the program has documented over 6,886 nests, which has resulted in the release of over 550,300 hatchlings.