Impacts of Coastal Armoring on Sea Turtle Nesting Behavior

Coastal armoring structures (i.e., seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, and sandbags) are designed to protect upland property, but have the unfortunate effect of degrading marine turtle nesting habitat in Florida.

Coastal ArmoringWhen constructed on nesting beaches, coastal armoring structures block turtles' access to suitable nesting habitat, resulting in decreased nesting emergences. Additionally, several cases have been documented of interactions with coastal armoring structures that have resulted in the deaths of nesting females and hatchlings.

FWRI research projects involve assessing the extent of coastal armoring structures on marine turtle nesting beaches and the effects of these structures on marine turtle nesting behavior. Results will assist marine turtle management staff in efforts to minimize impacts from future coastal armoring construction projects. Coupled with this research are efforts to inform the public about this important marine turtle conservation problem in Florida.

Visit the Threats to Sea Turtles Photo Gallery for more pictures of coastal armor.

FWC Facts:
Seagrasses stabilize the sea bottom with their roots and rhizomes (underground stems) in much the same way that land grasses retard soil erosion.

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