So during this eight month period every year, you'll spot lots of plastic tape held by wooden stakes surrounding these nests. The goal is to prevent people from accidentally disturbing a nest, which could end up destroying the many eggs waiting below the sand to hatch.
Sea turtles are remarkable creatures. Mama turtles crawl on shore to scout out possible nesting places, then drop about 100 eggs in a hole on the beach. Before heading back to sea, these mothers cover their eggs with sand and even try to hide the exact location of the babies by spreading sand around a wider area. Then they disappear, never seeing their offspring. When the hatchlings emerge about 45-55 days later, they rely on the moon to guide them to the water. This means artificial lighting near our beaches is built to avoid casting unnecessary light. Take a look at the streetlamps beside the Fort Lauderdale beach east of A1A, for example - you ‘ll see what I'm talking about. I'm always impressed with how seriously we take this whole sea turtle thing in South Florida. How many places do you know that have a special phone number "to report a turtle emergency," huh? You'll find a sign with just such a number on the Fort Lauderdale beach. You also can schedule an evening early in the summertime at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park or the Museum of Discovery and Science to learn about the sea turtles. Something to consider for next year, maybe ... For now, just be glad that lots of folks care about the health and welfare of our sea turtles: green turtles, loggerheads and leatherbacks. We each can help by keeping beaches clean, avoiding the use of flashlights and other artificial lights on beaches at night and making sure not to disturb those nests. The pink tape and wooden stakes may look a little out of place on our lovely seaside sands, but they're not. Just the opposite, really - they're a sign that a precious part of the subtropics is still alive and doing very well.