Artificial lighting is reported as the #1 cause of hatchling mortality. Landward lights can disorient hatchlings that depend upon the illuminated horizon for direction.
Other threats to sea turtles include pollution, temporary structures left on the beach overnight, fishing line and other ocean debris, floating balloons or plastic bags which resemble jellyfish, and dogs running at-large on the beach.
In May 1989, and later amended in June 1998, Charlotte County adopted a
Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance (Article XII)
which provides standards and criteria for the protection of sea turtle nesting, coastal development, and prohibits artificial lighting on the nesting zone during the nesting season.
In 2005, The Sea Turtle Management Plan was developed to provide clarification and supplemental information on Article XII, Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance. It is the intent of this management plan to provide a balance between the needs of residents and visitors and threatened and endangered sea turtles. This document is also designed to provide the beachfront community a greater understanding of how the County will implement the sea turtle ordinance.
The Florida Power & Light Company has information about
Sea Turtles and Lights
Light pollution isn’t just a problem for sea turtles, many astronomers are also trying to control light pollution all over the world so they can get a good view of the night sky. Many of the light applications they support can be used near turtle beaches as well. Visit the
International Dark Sky Association
Migratory birds also have problems with light pollution. Information about this subject can be found at the
Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP)