Sunday, May 1 marked the beginning of Turtle Nesting Season. From now until the end of October, mama turtles will be coming onto the beaches of Fernandina Beach to lay eggs at night. These females need a quiet, dark beach to nest. Lights can scare and discourage turtles from coming ashore. If a female fails to nest after multiple attempts, she will often resort to a less-than-optimal nesting spot, resulting in few, if any, hatchlings surviving.
Beachfront light (also flashlights, flash photography, video equipment, and cell phone screen illumination) can cause sea turtle hatchlings to become disoriented and wander away from the ocean. If sea turtle hatchlings see artificial light, they become confused and may crawl in circles. Often, they die from dehydration, exhaustion, terrestrial predation, or passing cars.
Things you can do to help:
If you happen to see a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings while you are on the beach, stay at a distance where you cannot be seen. Remain quiet, keep all lights off (including flashlights, flash photography, and video equipment). Do not disturb them in any way.
For more information and lighting options, please contact Code Enforcement Director, Michelle Forstrom at (904) 310-3440 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit the City website for more information: www.fbfl.us/seaturtlelights.
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