Give Sea Turtles a Safe Path on St. Lucie County Beaches March 1-Nov. 15

Give Sea Turtles a Safe Path on St. Lucie County Beaches March 1-Nov. 15


Sea turtle nesting season has already begun in some parts of South Florida. St. Lucie County officials ask residents, businesses and visitors to help us protect these threaten and endangered species by practicing sea turtle-friendly habits such as proper beachfront lighting.  Improper beachfront lighting can imperil our endangered and threatened sea turtle populations.

If one observes sea turtle nest poaching or harassment of sea turtles on the beach, please call 911 or the Florida Fish and Wildlife hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

St. Lucie County enforces sea turtle lighting codes during sea turtle nesting season, which runs from March 1 – Nov. 15.  During nesting season, exterior light sources directly visible from the beach or illuminating areas seaward of the primary dune must be redirected, shielded or turned off between sunset and sunrise.

To prevent interior lights from illuminating the beach, window treatments are required on all windows of single and multi-story structures if these windows are within the line of sight of the beach. Blackout draperies or shade screens are preferred. Alternatively, approved window tint may be applied to beachfront windows.

It is encouraged that people turn out all unnecessary interior lights during nesting season and close curtains and blinds at night. Flashlights and bonfires are discouraged during nesting season. Beach furniture should not be left on the beach because of the dangers of entanglement. Sandcastles and holes on the beach should be returned to their natural condition to prevent sea turtle entrapment or injury.

Walton Rocks Beach is the only dog-approved beach in St. Lucie County and dogs should be on leashes to not dig up sea turtle nests.

Last year was a positive year for sea turtle nesting in St. Lucie County with 2,619 nests being laid – a 7.5% increase over 2020. Loggerheads produced 2,193 nests in 2021, followed by Green Turtles with 381 and Leatherbacks with 45 nests.

For additional information on sea turtle-friendly beaches, please contact Ken Gioeli, Natural Resources Extension Agent, at 772-462-1627.  For Code Compliance questions, please contact Monica Graziani at 772-462-1599.  A 12” x 19” poster, “Give Sea Turtles A Safe Path,” is available for $4+ shipping from the University of Florida


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