Sea Turtle Conservation
Of all the animals on our planet, perhaps none are under more threat from light pollution than sea turtles. Sea turtles live in the ocean, yet they hatch at night on sandy beaches. Hatchling sea turtles have one immediate goal to ensure their future survival – find the ocean. They have evolved to locate the sea by seeing the brighter horizon over the ocean, and moving away from landward silhouettes. On a natural beach the newly hatched sea turtles find the open horizon and make for the water. Adult female sea turtles have a hard time finding an appropriately dark beach for laying their eggs and the lights of our cities confuse their hatchlings. Instead of reaching the safety of the ocean, the newborn sea turtles often head for illuminated roads, civilization, danger and death. In Florida alone, millions of hatchling sea turtles die this way every year. Light pollution has a major impact on species of endangered or threatened sea turtles that nest on developed beaches. With the use of proper lighting practices, technology and awareness, IDA is making it possible for our endangered sea turtle populations to rebound.