Lighting and Beachfront Issues


Every year, thousands of hatchlings in Florida become disoriented by artificial light pollution, causing them to crawl towards the dune or A1A instead of the ocean.  Sea turtle hatchlings instinctively travel towards the brightest horizon in contrast to a darker dune.  A sky brightened by unshielded lighting can also cause females to avoid brighter areas.  Most artificial lighting issues can be solved by shielding lights, using sea turtle-friendly lighting (red or amber colored) near the beach, turning off unnecessary lights at night, and not using flashlights on the beach.  For more information on sea turtle lighting, visit or

light pollution from condos on the beach
a house on the beach at night with bright light

Beachfront Development

Due to beach erosion, re-nourishment projects have become necessary to provide beach width for tourism and coastal development protection.  These projects occur every 5-10 years on Boca Raton’s beaches.  For more information on beach renourishment projects, visit

BEach 1
The beach

Plastic and Marine Debris

Marine debris has become an increasing problem in the last few decades.  Items such as balloons, netting, and fishing line often wash ashore, potentially creating obstacles for nesting adult females and hatchlings.  Proper recycling and disposal of these items can help not only sea turtles, but keep a healthy and clean beach environment for all to enjoy! We encourage everyone to reduce their use of plastics, particularly single-use plastics.  

A huge pile of garbage, plastic and seaweed on the beach
Two deflated ballons on the beach near the water

Beach Obstacles

Sea turtles face many obstacles when on the beach.  Adult sea turtles can easily become trapped under beach furniture and crossovers when nesting.  Sandcastles and holes dug on the beach can also cause issues for sea turtles.  Due to their small size, hatchlings are prone to falling in abandoned holes and sandcastles can become a complicated maze when trying to find their way to the water. Please remember to leave the beach the way you found it!

A sea turtle stuck under beach chairs

A hole in the sand with three baby sea turtles in it