The roughly three mile stretch of beach in the Town of Highland Beach provides our residents with a place to relax and recreate. Our beaches also serve as critical nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles. From March 1 through October 31 each year, the turtles come to our shores and lay thousands of eggs in nests all along the beaches. Weeks later, the hatchlings burst from the sand and make their way to the sea.
Almost all nesting activity, as well as the emergence of the hatchlings from their nests, takes place at night. One of the biggest dangers to nesting females and hatchlings comes from beachfront lighting. Visible artificial light can deter females from nesting and also interfere with the hatchlings journey to the sea. The hatchlings are attracted to the source of brightest light, optimally; the reflection of natural light on the water, and the brightness of a spotlight, streetlight, or even a flashlight can confuse the hatchlings and misdirect them from their trek to the ocean, threatening their survival. Less than 1 in 1,000 sea turtles survive to adulthood.