Starting in 1977, the City of Boca Raton’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program has monitored, recorded, and studied all sea turtle nesting activity occurring along the city's five mile stretch of beach. The program also works closely with the city regarding beachfront development issues. Nighttime lighting surveys are conducted along the beach to identify lighting issues and potential problems involving adult and hatchling sea turtle disorientations. Other issues include beach renourishment, coastal construction, mechanical beach raking, and the alteration of dune vegetation. The Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program partners with Florida Atlantic University on a variety of research projects related to the sea turtle nesting activity that occurs on Boca Raton’s beaches.
Boca Raton’s beaches are visited by more than just tourists and nesting sea turtles. Many species of birds utilize our shoreline to feed, forage, or simply to rest during their migration north or south. Once a month during sea turtle nesting season, our conservation team counts shorebirds and enters the findings online into the Florida Shorebird Database. This database is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). One species in particular, the least tern, has a history of nesting on Boca’s beaches. When our conservation team sees evidence of least terns nesting, FWC is contacted, and the area is cordoned off protect the small, camouflaged eggs.