Monday, November 9, 2015

Commissioner Maier's handwringing and anxiety about Lake Worth's 1,200 foot long BEACH!: What happened to the turtles?

The good news about this last turtle nesting season keeps rolling in. What effect that will have on political posturing in Lake Worth is still unclear. Below you'll find the latest from David Rogers at the Shiny Sheet on the amazingly good news about turtles on the beaches of the Town of Palm Beach.

The Lake Worth BEACH!, in case you didn't know, is only 1,200 feet long. For some perspective, of just the beaches on Florida's Atlantic coast, our little slice of heaven makes up only 0.072 of the total: less than 1 percent. In Lake Worth though, that tiny stretch of beach takes on all new significance when it comes to politics and illogical appeals.

At a City Commission meeting in June some, including Commissioner Maier (an expert on sea turtles himself), suggested that the state and county guidelines for protecting turtles weren't strict enough and Lake Worth needed a higher set of standards to protect them. The editor at The Lake Worth Herald took umbrage to this as you can read about here.

Why is this significant? The sea turtles are doing remarkably well despite anything Lake Worth is doing or not doing. But that won't affect in any way the voluminous amount of hours devoted to this issue by Maier, directed city staff, and some in the public who also complain about crumbling infrastructure in the City.

For those of you concerned about sea turtles you'll be heartened by this article in Florida Weekly titled, "Seeing Green" by Scott Simmons:
     According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2015 has seen higher green turtle nesting counts than 2013, the previous highest year.
     Biologists with the FWC have documented about 28,000 green turtle nests on the 26 index beaches around the state so far this year.
     “We are astonished and pleased by the high number of green turtle nests documented in 2015,” [emphasis added] Simona Ceriani, FWC research scientist, said in a report issued by FWC. “Green turtles tend to follow a two-year nesting cycle with wide year-to-year fluctuations in the number of nests recorded. The 2015 numbers were higher than the previous record, suggesting the 2013 record numbers were not a fluke, but that green turtle populations are indeed increasing in Florida. It looks like years of conservation efforts for this endangered species are paying off.”
Here is more good news from David Rogers at the Palm Beach Daily News (aka The Shiny Sheet), an excerpt:
     The company that monitors the town’s shoreline during peak egg-laying and hatching season, May 1 to Oct. 31, says the 2015 season was particularly good for green turtles.
     “We had approximately 8,000 nests this season on Palm Beach. About 7,200 of those were loggerheads, 690 were greens and 80 were leatherbacks,” [emphasis added] said biologist Christine Perretta, president of Boca-based D.B. Ecological Services.
     In 2014, the company documented more than 8,220 nests on Palm Beach — 7,970 loggerhead nests, 188 green nests and 65 leatherback nests.
The nesting season ended on October 31st.