The Sea Turtle Preservation Society reminds all coastal Florida residents to go "lights out" for sea turtles from May 1 to Oct. 31. Now is the time for all business and property owners to make sure no artificial light sources can be visible from or illuminate the beach at night.
Artificial lights can discourage female turtles from nesting on the beach and can cause hatchlings to become disoriented.
Property owners along the coast should make sure their light fixtures are positioned, shielded or modified so the light source and any reflective surfaces of the fixture are not visible by someone standing on the beach, according to the various ordinances. It also is important to eliminate the effect of interior lights shining through doors and windows onto the beach.
There are several way to reduce the amount of light coming from inside a home or business to include moving lamps and other movable fixtures away from windows, using blinds and curtains, turning off unnecessary lights, and applying window tint.
Beach goers are also requested not to dig hole in the sand above the high tide line. Digging can destroy nests and trap nest sea turtles and hatchlings. Any holes dug below high tide line should be filled in before leaving the beach.
The Brevard County coast is the largest nesting area in the United States for both loggerhead and green sea turtles, and by going "lights out," you can help ensure that their populations can grow.