NSU Halmos College of Arts and Sciences manages the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program (BCSTCP) in partnership with Broward County. Working with multiple community volunteer organizations, the BCSTCP monitors all sea turtle nesting activities along over 24 miles of Broward County beaches. Our mission is to effectively contribute to sea turtle conservation through effective beach monitoring, providing superior and relevant data to local, state, and federal conservation agencies, and active engagement with our community through outreach and education.
Accounting for 70% of the nation's sea turtle nesting, Florida beaches are the most important areas for nesting in the United States. In particular, Southeast Florida—from the Space Coast to the Gold Coast—is the largest nesting area in the world for loggerhead sea turtles, hosting 90% of nesting for the North Atlantic loggerhead population and 40% of loggerhead turtle nesting globally. Locally, Broward County beaches serve as a consistent nesting habitat for three sea turtle species: the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), and leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). All three species are considered to be endangered or threatened globally by the IUCN Red List and are protected by the US Endangered Species Act, as well as by Florida Statutes. Through nest monitoring and public engagement, the BCSTCP furthers conservation efforts of these imperiled species.
An associated part of this effort is the Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC), which the NSU-HCAS manages on behalf of the Broward County Parks Department. The MEEC now serves as a public education facility with a focus on coastal and marine environments, and all the inhabitants that live there. Though currently closed due to COVID-19 regulations, the MEEC is typically open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, with daily science programs, as well as programming specifically for school groups tailored to the marine sciences. To learn more about the MEEC and the myriad of educational resources they offer, click here!