Here in Florida and definitely in New Smyrna Beach sea turtles are a treasured commodity. They are an endangered species which faces an abundance of threats, including armadillos and racoons that make tasty meals out of their eggs and pollution which results in dangerous debris and has caused the water temperatures to rise.
Consequently, as a community, we are careful not to disturb their nesting grounds or distract hatchlings from their trek to their new home in the sea by shining unnatural lighting, and we make every effort to avoid harming them with propeller strikes when we are boating.
Needless to say, even with all of our conservation efforts, these majestic sea creatures have had a tough go of things, and with all of the erosion caused by recent hurricanes, their situation recently became more dire. So, where do things stand today for our sea turtles?
After working tirelessly to rebuild our beaches and dunes and repair and rebuild sea walls, here’s some happy news. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has counted record numbers of sea turtles – 134,000, which is 30,000 more than in 2016, just for reference.
Sea turtles can travel thousands of miles in a lifetime. Hopefully, with our dedication and perseverance to their preservation, they will continue to keep New Smyrna Beach a coveted destination in their trip planners!