Project Title: Assessment of Marine Turtle Nesting Habitat at Pocket Beaches in Florida
Project Manager: Kristen Nelson Sella and Dr. Mariana Fuentes
Organization: Florida State University (Research and Educational Institute)
Grant Amount: $16,533.64
Summary: Beach armoring, hardened structures placed adjacent to beaches in response to coastal erosion, can cause result in small sections of beach remaining as nesting habitat, forming what are known as pocket beaches. The use of urban pocket beaches in Florida by nesting marine turtles has been documented, but it is not known how much nesting occurs on these beaches as compared to traditional beaches or if the pocket beaches in Florida provide suitable nesting habitat. Thus, the overall aim of this project is to obtain a better understating of the relative importance of pocket beaches as nesting habitat for marine turtles in the state of Florida. To achieve this, the project will: 1) determine the abundance of pocket beaches present in Florida, 2) assess the quality of the nesting habitat in these locations and likelihood of being inundated in the future, and 3) determine the use of pocket beaches by marine turtles compared to adjacent, more traditional beaches.