Sea Turtle Nesting Season On Highland Beach | Highland Beach Real Estate
Highland Beach is a mere sliver of waterfront real estate nestled between Boca Raton and Delray Beach. Thanks to the unorthodox founding of this tiny waterfront town with less than 5,000 annual residents, the city has become a uniquely suitable nesting site for sea turtles. These spectacular, oft-endangered creatures are some of the most majestic fauna that graces our regional waters. As those fortunate enough to enjoy living on Highland Beach, it's our job to be stewards of our own backyard, and consider the needs of the land and nature that has been here long before we arrived. For newcomers, the nuances of sea turtle nesting season can be confusing, or unknown. As your Highland Beach Realtors, we may not be ecologists, but we know the best and worst practices while being mindful of sea turtles on Highland Beach. Here are some do's and dont's to be aware of as sea turtle nesting season on Highland Beach quickly approaches.
Remove Or Dim Outdoor Lighting
During midsummer, you may have noticed that beachfront lights are either dimmed, tinted red, or minimized altogether. Sea turtles require darkness and relative quiet to most successfully begin their nest and bury their eggs. Bright, especially fluorescent lights can break the turtles immersion and make incubation much more challenging. For those living directly on the ocean, it is especially important to be wary of motion sensing lights, backyard patio lighting, and any music, sounds, or flashes that may emerge from the home or beyond.
No Flash Photography or Flashlights on the Beachfront
Even though there's not much to trip over on Highland Beach, it's still tempting to shine a little light where we're walking and peer out into the surf. The same principle regarding outdoor ambient lighting is more acutely shared when directing light on the beach. Whether by flashlight, or flash photography, bright lights, especially rapid bursts, can be very harmful to sea turtle nests.
Watch For Yellow Tape
You may have seen the small wooden stakes forming squares of caution tape around certain sites on the beach. These areas have been spotted by local wildlife officials as active sea turtle nests. It is absolutely paramount that these are avoided, and that beachgoers consider putting some distance between their chosen space and any active sea turtle nests. The eggs and shifting sands around them are easily subject to disturbance. The sites are best kept as far as possible from the nearest beachgoers, especially children or anyone with speakers, or the potential to lose litter from their belongings.
Properly Dispose of Food Products and Containers
This is obvious, but it still must be reiterated. Garbage, especially plastics have a massively negative impact on our oceans, while any food debris may attract predators that can harm the sea turtles. Whether inadvertent or through a direct attack, the presence of even small drifting predators like opossums and racoons can disturb, or destroy nesting sea turtles. Be sure to carry as much as you can off the beach, dispose of everything you bring that isn't coming home, and grab a few stray pieces while you're there!
Never Touch A Sea Turtle Hatchling
This is THE most important of our five sea turtle nesting tips. If you're blessed enough to witness the rare hatching of these spectacular creatures, the temptation is to lift their tiny bodies and carry them to the beach. Never, we repeat, NEVER touch these turtles. What may take a few steps for you is quite literally a life-and-death struggle for these beautiful hatchlings. A sea turtle who cannot make it into the surf and out to sea on their own is guaranteed to die. While it's certainly sad to think about, by helping these hatchlings we are not only guaranteeing, but expediting their demise. The slow crawl from shoreline to surf is a rite of passage that is essential to the lifespan of sea turtles, and it is not our job to interrupt the flow of nature, no matter how good-natured or tempting it may be.
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