Sea Turtle Lighting
Artificial lighting is currently one of the largest threats to sea turtles’ existence.
Nesting females look for dark beaches on which to lay their eggs. Bright lights may confuse or frighten them, causing them to abandon the beach in favor of a more suitable spot. Hatchling turtles use natural light to navigate to the ocean after leaving the nest. Mistaking artificial lights for the moon or sun, hatchlings quickly become disoriented, wandering into backyards, swimming pools, storm drains and busy roads. Hatchlings who don’t reach the safety of the ocean quickly fall victim to dehydration, predation and death.
In the future, light pollution could increasingly affect nesting sea turtles and hatchlings, unless a greater effort is exerted by local communities. As the coastline of Florida continues to develop, it is important for everyone to make these minor changes to reduce human impact on the natural environment.