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Keep Sea Turtles in the Dark

Help protect turtle hatchlings by turning off lights or adding shielding

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

Map of sea turtle nesting areas around Florida 

Download as PDF

Request Brochures

Visit our brochure order page to request printed copies of our sea turtle brochures.

FPL Protects Sea Turtles During Nesting Season

turtle nesting video image

Dangerous Lighting

  • 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
  • Streetlights
  • 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