Sea Turtles in Hillsboro Beach
March 1 through October 31
The Town of Hillsboro Beach has one of the highest densities-per-mile for sea turtle nests along the East Coast of Florida. Nesting Season in Broward County officially begins March 1 and ends October 31. The Town is h o me t o Leatherbacks, Loggerheads, and Green sea turtles. All sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach at night, and MUST have unobstructed access to their nesting grounds. The hatchlings are guided by the brightest light source; any source of manmade light can draw them away from their path to the ocean. The Town takes pride in assisting these magnificent creatures with sustaining future generations.
Please observe these five basic requirements from March 1 through October 31:
• There should be no source of manmade light visible from the beach at night. Sources include bulbs, fluorescent tubes, lamps, etc. from which light emanates.
• The beach MUST be cleared of obstructions every evening beginning at sunset, including outdoor furniture and debris.
• Flashlights with red filters must be used on the beach at night.
• Manmade holes must be refilled.
• Everyone, including pets, must stay away from all nests at all times.
• Please refrain from leaving food out for foxes, raccoons, and other wild animals, as they tend to disrupt the nesting, resulting in lost hatchlings.
• Should you discover a Sea Turtle in distress, please call 954.328.0580.
Requirements for Marine Turtle Protection
• Exterior artificial light fixtures shall be designed and positioned so that the point source of light is not directly visible from the beach.
• Low profile luminaires shall be used in parking lots and such lighting shall be positioned so that no light directly or indirectly illuminates the beach.
• Exterior lights used expressly for safety or security purposes shall be limited to the minimum number and configuration required to achieve their functional role(s). The use of motion detector switches that keep lights off except when approached and that switch lights on for the minimum duration not
• Pool lights shall be installed with amber/red LED lighting specifically designed for the safety of marine animals.
• Balcony lights shall be fitted with hoods so that lights shall not be visible from the beach.
• Interior artificial lighting in line-of-sight from the beach shall be designed and positioned so that the point source of light is not visible from the beach. All interior light sources shall be switched off or shielded from view with drapery after 9:00 p.m. or have installed tinted or filmed glass with a light transmittance value not to exceed 45 percent (45%).
• Periodic nighttime lighting inspections will be performed during nesting season from the beach to determine the extent of compliance with all sections of this article. These inspections will be conducted as needed until existing beachfront lighting has been brought into compliance.
Prohibition of activities disruptive to marine turtles
• The following activities and situations are prohibited on the beach from sunset to sunrise during nesting season:
• The operation of all motorized vehicles, except emergency and law enforcement vehicles or persons who have authorization or a permit to engage in marine turtle conservation or research issued by FWS, FDEP, FWC or the town, and who are acting in conformance with such authorization or permit.
• The building of fires during nesting season.
• Any transient lighting which purposely illuminates nesting sea turtles or hatchlings. This prohibition does not apply to persons who have authorization or a permit to engage in marine turtle conservation or research issued by FWS, FWC, FDEP or the town, and who are acting in conformance with such authorization or permit.
• Any temporary structures, including, but not limited to, beach chairs, umbrellas and cabanas which have the potential for entrapment of marine turtles and which may interfere with the use of the natural beach environment for nesting habitat. All temporary structures shall be removed from the beach nightly or stacked with the shortest edge facing the shoreline in a way to reduce the possibilities of entrapment.