STC’s Beachfront Lighting Program

Sea turtles have crawled onto beaches to nest for millions of years. It was once easy for hatchlings to find the ocean after emerging from nests because the brightest horizon was always the ocean, compared to the darkened dune.

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.

Learn more about the impact of artificial light on sea turtles, what you can do to help, and what STC is doing to mitigate this issue by following the links below.

Lighting and Dune Projects 
STC has funding to retrofit problem lighting on beachfront properties in all southwest Florida counties.

Finding Wildlife Lighting 
Learn where wildlife lighting can be sourced and purchased for your beachfront property.

Education and Outreach

To learn about STC’s sea turtle lighting workshops and download educational materials, click here.

How You Can Help

Learn about how you can help prevent sea turtle disorientations.

Learn more about interior lighting, skyglow and temporary lighting here.