Since the City of Sunny Isles Beach has adopted a Lighting Ordinance, Miami- Dade Parks Sea Turtle Program has been requested by FWC/DEP to leave all Sea turtle nesting in their natural nest site in the City of Sunny Isles Beach. This technique is called In Situ. In biology, in situ means, to examine a phenomenon in the place where it occurs (i.e. without moving or altering it). Exceptions to that rule, for example what happened this year when a couple of turtles nested too close to the waters edge and the then the eggs were relocated.
Now, you, as a resident, are seeing more marked nests because most of the Coastal Constructions (i.e. condo, hotels, etc.) are Sea Turtle Friendly, this is from the 40% tinted windows on buildings, redirecting light from beach areas onto properties and changing from regular outside lighting to low frequency outside lighting. All this helps to preserve and help Sea Turtles in their nesting stage.
Sea Turtles are very fertile and will nest up until their final days. Sea Turtles live as much as a human being, perhaps 70 to 100 years old. However, female Sea Turtles will nest for 2 to 3 years and then will rest for the next 2 to 3 years. The off years will allow the female Sea Turtle body to regain the necessary nurturance to begin her egg factory cycle again. There are 5 species of Sea Turtles in this region: Loggerhead, Green Turtle, Leatherback, Kemp’s Ridley and the Hawksbill. To learn more about the species you can log onto: myfwc.com/research/wildlife/seaturtles/fl-sea-turtles/species/
The previous 3 seasons, the City of Sunny Isles Beach has had a healthy nesting frequency, but in low numbers. In 2010 about 128 nests were recorded in Miami-Dade County Beaches, 17 in the City of Sunny Isles Beach. In 2011 there were more than 177 nests in Miami-Dade County Beaches, and more than 30 of them in the City of Sunny Isles Beach. This year Bal Harbour from 92 thru 96 Streets, has had the most nestlings of turtles produced.
Sunny Isles Beach has a very healthy hospitable nesting beach. Despite that fact, in our City this year we seem to have hit the lower end of the breeding cycle which fluctuates up and down over a period of years. So far this year we have only 12 nests, eight on the north side and 4 south of the Newport Beach Pier.
We are now in mid turtle season and the statistics provided from the County are as follows for all of Miami-Dade County:
146 nests of Loggerheads
6 nests of leatherbacks
3 nests of green sea turtles
Nesting season or Turtle Season in Miami-Dade County is from May 1st to October 31st. The nesting subsides around mid-September. To learn more about turtle management information, please log on to: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/sea-turtles/