Extreme weather changes impact reaches wider and for longer than most people think. Sea turtle nesting season is worrisome this year after beach erosion from hurricane sandy. ( Source WLRN South Florida News )
“We’ve lost beach height and width,” Rusenko said of the city’s post-storm beaches. “The beach itself is about five feet lower.”
Sea turtle nesting season in South Florida is March 1 through October 31, when turtles like the loggerheard, green and leatherback come out of the water to bury eggs in the sand. Less sand places nests at greater risk of being “washed over” during high tide.
“They’re probably going to get wet more often,” Rusenko said of the nests. If they are washed over early in the incubation stage, the risks are less significant than if the soaking happens closer to the “due date.” Exposure to water late in the incubation period can in some cases kill the potential hatchlings.
Rusenko hopes the nesting females this season will “be crawling up in the dunes” to lay their eggs. A dune provides a dry nesting area, though it is not without its own set of risks.
“Predators are a lot more happy in the dunes,” Rusenko said.