Project Page

Assessing Risk and Conducting Public Outreach to Reduce Vessel Strikes on Sea Turtles along Florida’s Gulf Coast

Implementing Organization

State of Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources

Sea Turtles

Project Description

The project will reduce the mortality of multiple sea turtle species (loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, green, hawksbill, and leatherback) from injuries due to strikes by motorized watercraft. This multi-stage project will obtain information on the distribution of sea turtles and vessels in areas previously identified as hotspots of vessel strike mortality of sea turtles and assess the willingness of local communities to change their behavior to reduce the risk of watercraft-related mortality of sea turtles. The project will build on work completed through grants from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's (NFWF) Sea Turtles Program (Mitigating the exposure of sea turtles to vessel strikes in Florida) and from the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate program (Understanding the exposure of sea turtles to vessels: determining the potential impacts of vessel strikes in south Florida). Specifically, the project will • Compile data on sea turtles by collating existing and/or obtaining new information, as needed, on the habitat use, behavior, and temporal distribution of sea turtles at selected passes in the Gulf where injury by motorized watercraft is high; • Quantify vessel use and activity at the same passes; • Compile data on vessel strikes by collating existing and/or obtaining new information, as needed, to determine the overlap between sea turtles and vessels at the selected passes and identify areas with low, medium, and high risk of a vessel strike; • Obtain information on factors that may influence the risk of vessel strikes for sea turtles; • Conduct surveys of boaters to assess the acceptability and perception of boaters to identified on "More Info" link below


Gareth Leonard
(850) 617-9452
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

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