Florida

 

The Problem

In southeastern Florida, sea turtle poaching is thankfully not an issue, but nesting turtles and hatchlings face an equally vexing problem. Loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles and hatchlings are at great risk in this region because industrial light pollution from businesses and homes along Florida’s Gold Coast, threatens the safety of the turtles and hatchlings by directing them away from the water and toward dangerous lighted streets and properties, where they become dehydrated and die or get crushed by cars.

How We Will Help

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will employ a large team of volunteers each night, working hand-in-hand with volunteers from our local partner S.T.O.P. (Sea Turtle Oversight Protection) to re-orient emerging sea turtle hatchlingsaway from commercial light pollution along the shoreline and toward the ocean, thereby ensuring they make it safely to the sea. Lighting ordinances are in effect throughout Greater Ft. Lauderdale but compliance and enforcement will be an issue. Education and awareness are key. Remarkably, non-compliance with coastal lighting ordinances is responsible for causing more than one-third of the region’s sea turtle hatchlings to disorient toward lights rather than to the sea.

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