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Lights out to protect sea turtles | Environment

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Lights out to protect sea turtles
Lights out to protect sea turtles

Clearwater, Florida -- Sea turtle nesting season begins May 1 and ends Oct. 31.

Because newly-hatched turtles find their way to the sea by following the natural light reflected by the water, city ordinances determine specific lighting requirements for beach parking lots, streets, and promenades.

If you live near the beach, make sure you shut off or dim your lights at night.

This precaution can reduce the amount of artificial light that reaches turtle nests and will help hatchlings reach the water safely.

The Tampa Bay area averages about 120 nests each season, and each nest can contain an average of 100 to 110 eggs.

If you are lucky enough to find a turtle nest on the beach, don't disturb it. If the nest is unmarked, notify the Clearwater Marine Aquarium at (727) 441-1790. They also will be able to provide more information about sea turtle nesting season.

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