Sea Turtle Disorientation Reports

Research has shown that sea turtle hatchlings emerge mostly at night and will instinctively crawl toward artificial light sources instead of the moonlit ocean.  The glare of these artificial lights can appear so overwhelmingly bright that hatchlings will ignore other visual cues and move toward the lights regardless of their relative position to the ocean.  This instinct can place sea turtle hatchlings in jeopardy as they crawl toward improper lighting on high rise structures, parking lots, swimming pools, and highways instead of the ocean.  Disoriented hatchlings will suffer from dehydration, exhaustion, predation and possible death from cars on nearby roads.

Several agencies working together under the auspices of the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners addressed sea turtle lighting issues. Their goal was to help county residents comply with sea turtle lighting requirements. These agencies included the UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension, the Public Information Office, the Mosquito Control and Coastal Management Department, the Tourism Division and Code Compliance.  Each agency played an important role in this program.

Disorientation Reports
*These reports are not generated by either St Lucie County or UF/IFAS

2016 Reports






Ken Gioeli

Natural Resources Agent

  • Injured, disoriented or dead sea turtles? Call FWC’s 24-hour wildlife Alert Number

  • 1-888-404-3922