About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Barking Cat Books published my first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. My humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. In 2018 Barking Cat Books published my SURVIVING YOUR DREAM VACATION: 75 RULES TO KEEP YOUR COMPANION TALKING TO YOU ON THE ROAD. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Amazing Adventure of Florida Sea Turtles

Feeling better! Turtle Rehab Center, Juno Beach, Fl.
     We live on a stretch of beach in southern Palm Beach County, Florida, that witnesses a miracle of nature every year. On three miles beneath our windows, thousands of female sea turtles return at night to lay their eggs between March 1st and October 31st. In 2017, there were 1077 nests, the highest number ever recorded in our area. It is estimated nearly ninety percent of all sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs right here (www.sunny.org/beaches/sea-turtles).

     We have four species that return to our area: loggerhead, leatherback, green, and hawksbill. Since artificial lighting discourages the females from nesting on the beach, there is an ordinance in Florida (and fine for offenses) that all outside lights must be turned off or inward during nesting season.

     The females' tracks are as big as a tractor's tire marks. They dig holes in the sand, lay around one hundred golf-ball size eggs, cover the hole with sand, and spread sand over a large area to disguise the hole. Then they reenter the water. Although I have seen the track marks in the sand, I have never witnessed the nocturnal nesting.

     Incubation will last 45-55 days. The hatchlings will use reflections from the moon to find their way to the water at night. Only one out of a thousand will survive the predators and the tides.
Sick turtle getting an IV at Juno Beach Rehab Center, Fl.
     A New York Times article by Karen Weintraub (April 17, 2018, pg. D2) reports findings that sea turtles use the earth's magnetic fields to navigate back to within 40-50 miles of where they were born. Each beach has a distinctive magnetic signature, which the turtles find through something called "geomagnetic imprinting." In a study of loggerheads at the U. North Carolina, Dr. Kenneth Lohmann and J. Roger Brothers determined there was "more genetic similarity among turtles that nest on beaches with similar magnetic signatures than among turtles that nest on beaches physically close to each other."
Wheelchair for sick turtles, Juno Beach Turtle Rehab Center, Fl.

     In our area of beach, a non-profit called Sea Turtle Adventures provides daily monitoring of the nests on a three-mile stretch. They stake the nests, relocate them as needed, and excavate them after hatching. The group also provides documentation and reporting of predation events, offensive artificial lighting in the evening during nesting season, and obstructed nesting attempts. It co-ordinates efforts to document and transport dead or injured sea turtles to a rehabilitation facility (such as the Juno Beach Center), and provides annual reports to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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