Sea Turtles Are The Topic At MDC’s July Lecture

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July, 2018

Sea turtles are busy nesting on Florida beaches and these charismatic creatures will be the topic of the Marine Discovery Center’s public lecture in July.

Cathy Thompson, president of the Turtle Trackers, and Nancy Malmberg, a volunteer at Canaveral National Seashore, will co-present about sea turtles on Volusia County’s public beaches, as well as in the national park.

The presentation is set for Thursday, July 19, starting at 6 p.m. The lecture is hosted by the Marine Discovery Center, located at 520 Barracuda Boulevard in New Smyrna Beach.

The Turtle Trackers monitor the shoreline in New Smyrna Beach and use Volusia County equipment with a team of about 30 volunteers. The nonprofit group has surveyed the beaches to identify and protect nest sites since the 1980s.

Last year, Volusia County beaches posted its second-highest nesting season since 1988, with 720 nests, including nests of loggerhead and green sea turtles, as well as four nests of Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles – uncommon for this region.

Canaveral National Seashore, which spans both Volusia and Brevard counties, recorded 12,315 nests in 2017. That count included nests for loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles.

Both the Turtle Trackers and Canaveral National Seashore staff record and mark nests, monitor the nesting turtles and incubating eggs, and may protect the nests from predators.

The purpose of July’s lecture is to not only inform the public about the successful nesting programs, but to also help beach visitors learn how not to disturb nesting mothers when they emerge on beaches to lay eggs.

The presenters will also discuss how the public can help keep beaches safe and unobstructed for sea turtle hatchlings to find their way into the ocean.

MDC’s July lecture is open to the public at no charge and no reservations are required. Early arrival is recommended, as seating is limited.

For more information about the lecture, contact the Marine Discovery Center at 386-428-4828.