Shielding Lights and Preparing for Sea Turtle Nesting Season

sea turtles

Sea turtle nesting season begins each year on May 1 and continues through October 31. With Florida being the largest nesting area in the world for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead, Beaches Energy looks forward to helping these mother turtles and their hatchlings stay safe and protected.

At Beaches Energy, we work with the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol (BSTP) to ensure that we are following recommendations the Patrol outlines to keep sea turtles safe. The Patrol’s recommendations are very important to us in our long-term efforts to help protect sea turtles.

Light pollution or artificial light prevents mother turtles from coming ashore to lay their eggs. It can also cause hatchlings to become disoriented and wander inland leading to dehydration or death. In an effort to secure sea turtles nesting and the hatchlings’ safety, we turn off street lights at beach accesses where nests are present.

Beaches Energy partners with the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol to identify locations where lights need to be turned off. BSTP alerts us and keeps us up to date when there is a new nest site. After Beaches Energy turns off the light pole in this location, we place a sign indicating why the light is out.

Many of our light poles are set below the height of sand dunes, outside of view from the ocean. This helps provide a dark, safe space for mother turtles to find their nesting spot. Many light poles also have amber bulbs or light shields in further efforts to protect sea turtles.

For more information about how to help sea turtles, visit Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol and follow BSTP's Facebook for updates on nesting sites.

How you can get involved in helping protect sea turtles:

  • Restrict or shield direct beachfront light from your home or landscape.
  • Avoid unneeded light, noise and movement on the beach at night.
  • Keep nesting areas clear by cleaning up trash, beach furniture and miscellaneous items at the end of your beach day.
  • Fill in holes and flatten sandcastles that can impede or trap nesting turtles and hatchlings.
  • Do not walk or cycle on beach dunes.
  • Do not disturb sea turtle tracks, eggs, adults or hatchlings.