Loggerhead Marinelife Center Adds Speed Reduction Zones to Minimize Endangered Sea Turtle Injury
By: Nikki Colonna
A speed reduction zone is being inserted by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) to prevent injuries to sea turtles in the area. The Center’s initiative is intended for the safety of threatened and endangered marine turtles and the preservation of their habitat to obtain research and perform studies.
The east coast of Florida trailing to North Palm Beach waters is commonly recognized as the “most densely-populated [region] with sea turtles nests” in the country. These nesting areas are located right off shore and during the nesting season, the endangered sea turtles that swim into the water toward the surface are easily injured by motors, especially when boats are speeding above the designated limits.
By creating this speed reduction zone, safety is increased for turtles and humans. A simple tool such as a sign has a huge effect on the lives of these sea turtles, but that is not the only effort being enforced by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. They are using designated offshore signs as well to bring awareness to those not in the water. The safety starts in their nests on shore and goes beyond to their homes in the water. This strategy is expected to raise more attention to the lives of these endangered sea turtles in our community.
In order to implement such a zone, the LMC is linking up with the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research (ACCSTR) combining their strengths and love for the sea turtles to create this Voluntary Speed Reduction Zone in an effort to maintain their homes and protect their reproduction sites.
There is an expected three year time period process to apply these efforts and bring this new zone to life. It will evolve starting in 2017 from the Center gathering data and their ability to protect rights of endangered sea turtles. LMC’s chief conservation officer, Tommy Cutt, has done everything in his power to safeguard wildlife that are desperately in need.
Cutt’s solution involves the suggestion of “a voluntary speed reduction in this vital sea turtle habitat [that] will help increase awareness of sea turtle conservation and could potentially lead to a significant decrease in motorboat and sea turtle interactions.”
With such an organization, the potential is limitless and the impact has the capacity to be very substantial. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center hopes that their determined attempts will pay off and they see significantly fewer injuries to these endangered sea turtles.