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The original item was published from 7/28/2023 10:23:04 AM to 11/1/2023 12:00:03 AM.

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Town of Palm Beach - Public Safety & Emergency Services News Release

Posted on: July 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Sea Turtle Lighting and Hatchling Concerns


PALM BEACH, Florida -  Sea turtles lay eggs in nests on our beaches beginning in the spring and throughout the summer, and now the baby turtles are hatching.  The Town wants to remind the community that it is important to keep your distance from sea turtles and their nests on the beach.  Turtle hatchlings should be allowed to crawl toward the ocean on their own.  Any interference or disturbance, including getting too close, can cause hatchlings to become confused and lose their way.  The trek to the water from the nest is part of the process that helps them orient themselves to their surroundings and for females to remember their home beach. (Credit: FWC News Release 8-19-2021)

To protect endangered sea turtles which nest on local beaches and the hatchlings which come from those nests, Town Ordinance requires 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, which should be 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.

To comply with the “lights out policy," oceanfront property owners are required to shield or redirect any artificial lights illuminating any area of the beach or water that may be used by nesting sea turtles and hatchlings, or simply turn off the lights during the period of March 1st through October 31st. 


Click the link below for more information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC):

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