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City News & Events

Posted on: March 2, 2021

Sea Turtles Return to Deerfield Beach

The City of Deerfield Beach is excited to announce the official start of sea turtle nesting season, March 1, 2021. Last year, the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program documented more than 3,000 nests on the County’s 24-mile coastline and some of the earliest recorded nests in program history. Three species of sea turtles typically nest on Broward’s beaches each season: leatherbacks, loggerheads, and green turtles.

Deerfield Beach is proud to be home to many of these magical creatures who arrive on our shores to safely and peacefully nest every year. The City hopes to continue to be a hospitable host to the turtles, therefore we are asking the community to please be mindful of some very important things we must do to make sure the turtles enjoy their stay. 

Artificial lighting is one of the biggest threats to sea turtles in southeast Florida. Hatchlings use natural light from the moon and stars to locate the water after hatching, but artificial lighting near the beach can disrupt this process and cause turtles to become “disoriented” or confused. Lighting near the beach should be “sea turtle-friendly” and follow all three criteria below, established by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC):

Keep it Low
  • Fixtures should be mounted as low as possible to achieve their purpose.
  • Fixtures/bulbs should produce the lowest lumens (light output) necessary for the task. 

Keep it Shielded 
  • The bulb, lamp, or glowing lens should be shielded from the beach.
  • This includes interior lights, curtains, shades, and blinds that should be closed after sunset.

Keep it Long (wavelength) 
  • Fixtures/bulbs must produce long-wavelength light (560 nm or longer) without filters, gels, or lenses.
  • Amber and red LEDs are good examples of these types of light.

Residents and visitors should be aware that lights will be changing from white to amber during this time. Therefore, lighting along the beach will appear dimmer/darker than usual. Sea-turtle nesting season runs from March 1st – October 31st annually.

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