Now, Florida’s coasts are lined with beachfront properties that can emit powerful, white light, which can cause sea turtles to crawl toward those lights (misorient) or crawl in circles on the beach (disorient). Based on consensus from a panel of sea turtle experts, around 100,000 sea turtle hatchlings are disoriented each year in Florida. They can end up in pools, decks, or even the road. With grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) is working to eliminate problem beachfront lighting and sea turtle disorientations in Southwest Florida. For Phase III of this project, STC is retrofitting beachfront properties in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. Since 2010, STC has retrofitted lights on nearly 300 beachfront properties, darkened more than 20 miles of beach and retrofitted thousands of bulbs and fixtures.
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