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The cover picture features a nesting Loggerhead, the most common sea <br />turtle that utilizes Indian River County beaches for nesting each year <br />from March 1 - October 31. In order to protect our sea turtles, the <br />County created and initiated a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in 2005 <br />to ensure we have beautiful, clean, and healthy beaches for our turtles <br />to nest on and to increase the productivity of our beaches over the 30 <br />year lifetime of this plan. Since 2013, Indian River County has been <br />documenting record numbers of nests each year and in 2017 our beach <br />incubated over 81000 nests laid by Loggerheads, Greens and <br />Leatherbacks. The HCP has allowed the County to expand its <br />conservation efforts into public education, beachfront light <br />management, and rescue efforts with the help of countless community <br />volunteers. <br />Cover photo is courtesy of Deanna DeRosia (Instagram (&sweet.dea.drawings). <br />