Prepare your Beachside Homes and Businesses for Sea Turtle Nesting Season

STPS-Turtle-Tracks

Do you own a home or a business on the coast?

Sea Turtle Nesting Season will soon be upon us, and that means all properties by the beach need to be reviewed for compliance with county and lighting ordinances. The Brevard coast reports the highest number of loggerhead and green sea turtle nesting in the United States, so it’s critical to the sea turtle’s environment that they are not exposed to artificial light. The restrictions are in place from May 1st to October 31st.

Female sea turtles land on Brevard beaches at night throughout the nesting season. Any form of synthetic light can inhibit the turtles from successfully settling to give birth. Unnatural light confuses the hatchlings, and often times prevents them from making it into the ocean. Light emitted from your porch, emergency bulbs, signs, and patios that are visible from the beach endangers sea turtle lives, and jeopardizes the local ecosystem.

Ensure any light sources that could potentially violate ordinances are shielded, repositioned, or modified so that they cannot be seen by anyone standing on the beach. Don’t allow any reflective surfaces to bounce light onto the beach either. Check your interior lighting— a lamp shining from a back window could be bright enough to affect the turtles. Use blinds, curtains or shutters to restrict light flow. You can even tint your windows to reduce the light’s effect.

Just because your business or house was in compliance last year, it does not mean that it is this year. Lights and decor get shifted around. The sandy terrain of the beach has most likely been altered in the past year as well. It’s crucial that your property is in compliance with county rules.

Going beyond correct lighting practices, be careful where you dig on the beach. If you’re not careful, you could ravage nests and trap the sea turtle and her hatchlings. Don’t dig holes above the high tide line. If you dig a hole below high tide, fill it in before you leave.

Be careful about where you walk on the beach. They could be nesting anywhere!


Let’s work together to preserve Brevard county ecosystems

The Sea Turtle Preservation Society is dedicated to protecting the sea turtles of Brevard county, and maintain local environments.

Have questions about county ordinances, nesting season, or anything else turtle-related? Call Sea Turtle Preservation Society at (321) 676-1701, or email them at er@seaturtlespacecoast.org.