Delray fireworks prep keeps turtles in mind

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Only a few feet from where fireworks will be launched into the air Wednesday night in Delray Beach near Atlantic Ave., there are yellow signs that say turtles are nesting.

"We try to stay back ten feet from any nest," said Sarah Martin, of the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative.

The people setting up Delray Beach's fireworks, members of the famed Grucci family and the city's marketing cooperative, are taking measures to protect sea turtles this nesting season.

In case the turtles walk to shore, fences give way. Observers are posted 24 hours a day in case they do.

"The ecosystem is very important to Delray Beach. It's one of our biggest assets. We want to make sure to preserve it anyway we can," said Martin.

Dr. Charles Manire, of Juno Beach's Loggerhead MarineLife Center, says he doesn't expect the fireworks themselves to cause turtles any long term damage.

Though they can be disoriented to light and noise, he says bigger concerns are boats gathered to watch the show.

"After these events, for two or three days afterwards, we start seeing turtles, most of them are hit by boats," said Manire.

 One has lost his flipper when he was hit by a boat.

Manire applauded the measures taken in Delray Beach. He says this has been a record nesting season, and that protecting turtles is about protecting our food chain and an endearing animal.

"They're very charismatic species and people are just attracted to them for some reason," said Manire.

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