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The Research Lab at LMC

The research team at LMC monitors a 9.5 mile stretch of beach from March - October. Juno Beach is one of the worlds most densely nested sea turtle beaches in the world!

LMC’s research department has one of the longest running sea turtle monitoring programs in the state of Florida. The program officially began when LMC founder Eleanor Fletcher received her permit from the state of Florida in the early 1970s. Each season, the research team documents all sea turtle activities from March - October along 9.5 miles of beach from the northern Palm Beach County line south to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

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LMC research biologists have one of the most comprehensive datasets in the world. These datasets are invaluable not only to scientists but also to local, national and international coastal managers.  They form the basis for conservation decisions used to promote the recovery of sea turtle populations not only in Florida, but world-wide.

This dataset includes records from 1979 to now.  Information collected (in some years supported by Palm Beach County contracts) includes:

Nest and False Crawl Counts
GPS Locations of All Crawls
Nest Inventory Data/Reproductive Success
Sand & Nest Temperature Data-logs
Mapping of Escarpments, High Water Line and Vegetation Line
Sand Compaction Data
Shorebird Surveys
Night Time Leatherback Surveys

Nesting Season

All You Need To Know To Help Us Protect A Species

Nesting takes place on local South Florida beaches annually from March 1 – October 31

Keep your distance
Never approach or touch a nesting sea turtle. Keep your distance, remain quiet and keep all lights off (including flash photography & cell phones). Touching, prodding or shining lights may cause her to not lay eggs or disturb her and affect how well she covers and camouflages the nest.

Let hatchlings emerge
If you see hatchlings on the beach, allow them to crawl to the ocean on their own. Do not remove or dig hatchlings out of a nest. Removing sand above the nest will make it more difficult for the hatchlings to emerge.

Avoid the dune & vegetation
Enter the beach at designated access points and avoid walking on the dunes or beach vegetation to protect sea turtle nests, shorebird nests and the dune plant ecosystem.

Turn off lights
Keep lights at your house off while not in use and close your blinds at night to avoid adding to overall sky glow.

Draw the blinds
If you own or are using a beach front property, make sure to close your blinds and avoid use of unshielded outdoor lighting fixtures.

Don’t leave it behind
Remove obstacles such as beach chairs, tables, water-sport equipment and umbrellas before dark.

Be aware when digging
Only dig holes below high tide line, in the hard packed sand to avoid incubating sea turtle nests and avoid using shovels.

Fill in your holes
Fill all holes back in and knock over sand castles so that nesting turtles and hatchlings can’t fall into them and aren’t hindered as they crawl on the beach.

Don’t be a litter bug
Properly throw away trash so that it doesn’t blow into the water or become an obstacle for a sea turtle.

Don’t release balloons
Don’t release balloons, they travel far distances and will be eaten by sea turtles & other marine organisms.

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