Loggerhead Nesting in North Reach This Season Almost Twice the Number Previously Recorded
By Space Coast Daily // December 26, 2019
Canaveral Harbor Federal Sand Bypass Project wrapped up before the nesting season began
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Loggerhead sea turtles created nests in record numbers and green sea turtle nesting numbers were equally as impressive during 2019’s sea turtle nesting season within the 9.4-mile-long North Reach, which includes PortCanaveral’s Jetty Park.
Observers found 96 loggerhead nests, three green sea turtle nests and no leatherback sea turtle nests along a 3-mile stretch of beach from Jetty Park to just south of the Cocoa Beach Pier, said Mark Mercadante of Cocoa-based Geomar Environmental Consultants, which monitored sea turtle nests for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The loggerhead figures tied a record for loggerhead nests set in 2018 and the number of green sea turtle nests set a record for this section of shoreline.
Earlier this year, the Army Corps of Engineers completed a five-month effort that moved about 1.34 million cubic yards of sand to replenish 3.5 miles of beach south of Port Canaveral.
The Canaveral Harbor Federal Sand Bypass Project (Phase V) wrapped up before the nesting season began.
In total, surveyors counted 1,162 loggerhead nests, 15 green turtle nests and 3 leatherback nests from Jetty Park to the north boundary of Patrick Air Force Base.
“Overall, loggerhead nesting in the North Reach this season was near twice the highest number previously recorded in the past 20 years,” said Mercadante.
“Green turtle nesting was equally impressive this season, particularly in the Cocoa Beach and Jetty Park survey zones.”