Defenders recently celebrated a win for sea turtles and other wildlife in Palm Beach County, Florida, where county commissioners voted 5 to 2 not to move forward with an ill-advised attempt to slow down erosion at Singer Island in Riviera Beach. Singer Island is a popular nesting spot for sea turtles and other wildlife. The project, which called for 11 limestone boulders called breakwaters placed 300 feet off of the island, would have seriously impaired – if not made impossible – the nesting process, and caused great harm to endangered and threatened nesting and hatchling turtles.
Defenders’ Florida representative Elizabeth Fleming testified against the project, citing the lack of consideration for wildlife and habitat during the planning process. “The effect on the natural resources, the beach environment, near-shore ecology, sea turtles, other species has just been glossed over,” she said.
Thank you to our all the dedicated Defenders supporters who sent more than 1,000 messages opposing this misguided plan!
According to NBC News, the idea of stopping Singer Island erosion isn’t a new one. Plans for the 30 to 50 million dollar project have been written and tweaked since 2008.
But Fleming warned against the snowball effect such a misguided undertaking could have on future development. Shoreline armoring projects such as this one actually increase erosion to the south, worsening the problem. Those beachfront residents would then in turn request multi-million dollar projects to stabilize their beaches. “Palm Beach Country is globally significant as far as sea turtle nesting, foraging and other parts of their life. If Palm Beach continues on this path to do these breakwaters and other armoring projects, you are going to endanger the survival of several species.”
Development continues to be a major threat for Florida wildlife – from black bears to panthers to sea turtles. See how Defenders is committed to protecting Florida wildlife and the places they call home.