Sea Turtle Conservation Program, Broward County, Florida, 2002 Report




Burney, Curtis and Stefanie Ouellette

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Nova Southeastern University, Oceanographic Center


Since 1978, the Broward county department of planning and environmental protection (DPEP) has provided for the conservation of endangered and threatened sea turtle species within its area of responsibility. Broward county is within the normal nesting areas of three species of turtles: the loggerhead sea turtle (demochelys coriacea). The loggerhead is listed as a threatened species, while the green and leatherback are listed as endangered under the U.S. endangered species act, 1973, and chapter 370, F.S. Since these statutes strictly forbid any disturbance of sea turtles and their nests, conservation activities involving the relocation of nests from hazardous locations (especially necessary along heavily developed coasts) require permitting by the U.S. fish and wildlife conservation commission (USFWS). Bureau of protected species management, Tallahassee, Florida. This project was administered by the DPEP and conducted by the Nova Southeastern University oceanographic center under marine turtle permit #108, issued to the DPEP by the FWCC. The DPEP is especially concerned with any environmental effects of intermittent beach nourishment projects on shorelines and the sea turtle conservation program in non nourishment years to provide a continuous database and for monitoring of completed nourishment projects. A contract to operate the programs is issued based on a review of submitted bids. Nova southeastern university was awarded the contract to conduct the 2002 program. In addition to fulfilling statutory requirements, the purpose of the project was: 1. to relocate eggs from nests deposited in sites threatened by natural process or human activities and thus maximize hatching survival. 2. To accurately survey sea turtle nesting patterns to document historical trends and asses natural and anthropogenic factors affecting nesting patterns and densities. 3. To asses the success of the sea turtle recruitment and of hatchery operations in terms of nesting success, hatching success and total hatchlings released. 4. To dispose of turtle carcasses, respond to strandings and other emergencies and maintain a hot line for reporting of turtle incidents, and 5. To inform and educate the public about sea turtles and their conservation.


47 pgs.


sea turtles, conservation, management