The dangers of artificial lighting
When sea turtles hatch, they orient themselves toward the ocean by looking for the brightest horizon — an important survival instinct that is threatened by artificial lighting on homes and businesses near nesting beaches.
Sea turtles need help from humans who live and work near nesting beaches. While eliminating all lighting near beaches is not always practical or safe, there are ways to reduce our impact with little to no inconvenience.
If a light is visible from a known sea turtle nesting beach during nesting season, the local code enforcement board or the police should be notified. Many coastal communities in Florida have ordinances that restrict or prohibit beachfront lighting during nesting season. Check with your county or municipality to see if these organizations have adopted a sea turtle lighting ordinance.
If you have an outdoor light installed by FPL, call FPL for more information on options and associated costs at 1-800-DIAL FPL.
How can you help protect hatchlings?
If you see a turtle hatchling that is wandering away from the ocean:
- Gently redirect it to the ocean and allow the turtle to crawl into the ocean on its own
- If you find a lethargic sea turtle, contact the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at (888) 404-3922
- Contact your local government for more information on lighting ordinances
Turtle nesting areas
Visit our brochure order page to request printed copies of our sea turtle brochures.
Porch lights – houses, deck and other exterior lighting on residences and businesses
Interior lighting visible through the windows on residences and businesses that face the water
Parking lot lights
Residential utility pole lights
Stairwells and walkway lighting
Reduce the number of lights near nesting beaches to a minimum
Turn off unnecessary lights, redirect, lower, shield or hide visible lights
Consider using motion-detecting lights
To block indoor light from reaching beaches, apply window tint and keep drapes drawn
Purchase turtle-friendly lights that concentrate light downward, reducing the amount of light that can disorient hatchlings on their way to the ocean