As you prepare your family for spring break on the beaches along the southern Atlantic coast, keep the educational gears in motion with a lesson about the sea turtles that inhabit this region.
They use the beaches in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida to nest and lay their eggs. Along 20-miles of the east coast of Florida, sea turtles lay over 150,000 pounds of eggs in the sand. Having them inhabit the dunes is important to the environment.
How? The sea turtle eggs, unhatched nests and unhatched eggs provide nutrients for sand dune vegetation. As this vegetation gets healthier the entire beach gets healthier. The root systems of the thriving vegetation become stronger and help protect the beaches from erosion.
Sea turtles also keep the beaches safe for humans. They make meals out of the deadly box jellyfish so this stinging ocean life doesn’t get the chance to harm us.
Although you won’t spot any of these turtles nesting at this time of year – they lay their eggs in the summer – know that these fascinating sea creatures keep the sand dune ecosystem humming along for northern visitors like us to enjoy!
Content provided by Oakland University