Sea Turtle Protection Zone
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles While Boating
Every year, from March to October, tens of thousands of sea turtles travel to Palm Beach County to lay their eggs on our beaches. During this time, sea turtles spend greater amounts of time at the surface in the waters close to shore, where they are at an increased risk of being accidentally hit by boats.
To decrease unintended harmful interactions between boaters and threatened and endangered sea turtles during sea turtle nesting season in Florida, a voluntary Sea Turtle Protection Zone (STPZ) will be established from March 1 – October 31, extending from shore to one mile offshore from Jupiter to Lake Worth Inlets in Palm Beach County. To help protect sea turtles and other marine life, boaters are asked to reduce travel time within one mile offshore and travel at minimum speed for safe navigation when in the STPZ.
Sea turtle unintended boat strikes have tripled in Florida since 1980, and nearly 50% of interactions occur in south Florida, from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade counties. The greatest number of unintentional boat strikes for leatherback, loggerhead, and green sea turtles occurred during nesting season.
This project was funded in part by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded by proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at www.helpingseaturtles.org.