The City of Naples and Collier County urgently seek the support of all residents and visitors in safeguarding our precious sea turtles. A remarkable number of 2100 loggerhead sea turtle nests have been recorded along the 23.7 miles of beach in Collier County, with 551 nests identified on the City of Naples beaches during this season!
As we enter the half-way mark of the sea turtle nesting season, which typically spans from May 1 to October 31 each year, we must unite in our efforts to protect these magnificent creatures and their delicate habitats.
Regrettably, this year poses significant challenges for the female sea turtles and hatchlings in their journey to the Gulf of Mexico, primarily due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. Our beaches sustained significant loss of vegetation which has caused a rise in artificial light pollution, leading the females and hatchlings astray towards populated areas and roadways instead of their natural path towards the Gulf.
To ensure the survival of these vulnerable hatchlings, the City of Naples implores everyone to play a role in their protection. There are several ways you can assist:
Lights Out: Minimize the use of artificial lights near the beaches, especially during the night. Sea turtles are naturally guided by the moonlight to find their way to the sea. Artificial lights can confuse them and lead them in the wrong direction.
Turn off all unnecessary lights (i.e. landscape lighting, decorative/accent lighting) by 9:00PM.
Close blinds and/or curtains to shield interior lights from the beach.
Do not use flashlights (including cell phone lights) while on the beach at night.
Leave No Trace: Pack up and take with you everything you brought to the beach. Remove debris and litter, and fill in all holes made that can obstruct the hatchlings’ path and pose dangers to the nesting sites.
The City of Naples Code Compliance would like to remind all property owners, managers, and visitors of the City of Naples Marine Turtle Protection Regulations, Section 52-61. If properties are found in violation of the regulations and a disorientation occurs, property owners are held accountable by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the City, and will be held responsible for modifying lighting on the property. Reminder for those properties that sustained damage due to Hurricane Ian and are making repairs/replacements: electrical and lighting repairs/replacements must go through the City’s permitting process and receive approval before installation. Compliance with Section 52-61 of the City’s Code of Ordinances is required for lighting visible from the beach.
With your help, we can have a safer environment and darker night sky for the sea turtles to thrive and ensure their successful journey to the ocean. We thank you in advance for your cooperation!