The Problem: One way to address beach erosion is through beach nourishment. Nourishment consists of pumping, trucking or otherwise depositing sand on a beach to replace what has been lost to erosion. While beach nourishment is often preferable to armoring, it can negatively impact sea turtles if the sand is too compacted for turtles to nest in or if the sand imported is drastically different from native beach sediments, thereby potentially affecting nest-site selection, digging behavior, incubation temperature and the moisture content of nests. If renourishment is allowed to proceed during nesting season, nests can also be buried far beneath the surface or run over by heavy machinery. Dredging can cause direct threats to sea turtles and their nearshore marine habitats. Hopper dredges have been directly responsible for the incidental capture and death of hundreds, if not thousands, of sea turtles in the US.
Species Affected: All species of sea turtles are affected by beach nourishment and dredging.
The Solution: Current regulatory policies must change if there is any hope of saving natural beaches. These changes cannot take place the public's help.