I-95 Exit 25 in FL
To: FL 84, Marina Mile Boulevard
[~ 0.44 mi to Exit 24, ~ 1.24 mi to Exit 26]
Tourism in Florida is big business. The City of Fort Lauderdale tries hard to accommodate all visitors. However, some special visitors often collide with people on Florida’s coastlines.
There are four species of sea turtle who visit Florida regularly. One, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, remains in the sea and is sometimes seen around coral reefs. They were once hunted nearly to extinction for their luminescent shells which were used for eye glasses and ornaments.
Three other species nest on nearby beaches. One of the rarest is the loggerhead sea turtle. Possibly even fewer in numbers is the huge Leatherback Sea Turtle which also show up locally. Leatherbacks can grow to over one thousand pounds and range the Atlantic from the Caribbean to Iceland and back. The loggerhead’s range is less expansive. However, only egg laying females of all breeds ever leave the ocean and then only to lay eggs. Being on the beach is a very vulnerable time for these slow moving visitors, which is why Fort Lauderdale’s environmental interests are so concerned to accommodate these special tourists.
Florida’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission writes:
“The Florida coast is the second most popular nesting area in the world for Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Nesting season in Broward County and on Fort Lauderdale's beaches begins in early March with Leatherbacks, followed by Loggerheads in April, and Greens in May and June.
Females come up from the water to make their nests and deposit over 100 eggs on average in the sand. Approximately six to eight weeks later, the hatchlings will make their way from those nests to the ocean using the reflection of the moon on the water as a guide. Therefore, a common threat to sea turtles is disorientation caused by other sources of light. The City of Fort Lauderdale has adopted laws in its Code of Ordinances to help protect sea turtles that nest and hatch on the beach. This ordinance is designed to reduce the impact of artificial lighting on sea turtles by restricting it during both the nesting and hatching season (March 1 - October 31)."
According to the City of Fort Lauderdale’s website “The City works diligently to map sea turtle nests, set up protective barriers where necessary, post lighting guidelines and to support night walks to watch over hatchlings as they make their way to the water. We also rake our beaches each day, capturing debris such as cigarette butts and plastic items which can be harmful to sea turtles and all marine wildlife. There is a lot that our neighbors can do to keep these lovely stars of our seas healthy and happy in our City. To learn more, and to find education and volunteer opportunities, visit Broward County's Sea Turtle webpage."