Lights Out for Sea Turtles: March 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019

Beaches & Intracoastal  |  March 4, 2019

Town of Palm Beach News Release — To protect endangered sea turtles which nest on local beaches and the hatchlings which come from those nests, the Town Council adopted an ordinance requiring all oceanfront property owners to ensure that their lights are not visible from the beach anytime from March 1st through October 31st.

Artificial lighting confuses the sea turtle hatchlings causing them to veer off course from their intended destination, directly to the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that the resulting disorientation of sea turtle hatchlings from artificial lighting sources is a major cause in the decline of sea turtle populations worldwide.

 BBC Planet Earth Video in Barbados [0:30]

To comply with the “lights out” policy, oceanfront property owners are requested to shield or redirect any lights illuminating any area of the beach or water that may be used by nesting sea turtles, or simply turn off the lights during the period of March 1st through October 31st. Some limited use of low pressure sodium lights or red, orange or amber LED bulbs may not be a threat to turtles. Carla Marcote, Code Enforcement Specialist, should be contacted at 227-7080 before allowing such lights to be illuminated.

The rule of thumb is “When in doubt, turn it out.” The cooperation and compliance of the public will be appreciated.

A notice reminding property owners of these requirements will be mailed to all oceanfront property owners in Town.

 

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