An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Sarasota County reminds beach-goers to keep light out of sight

As summer approaches and trips to the beach become more frequent, Sarasota County is reminding all visitors and residents to keep light out of sight during sea turtle nesting season.

Sarasota County beaches play host to the largest population of nesting sea turtles on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with over 200 nests per mile.

According to Sarasota County Wildlife Specialist Jaclyn Irwin, the biggest threats to sea turtle survival are often man-made. Artificial lighting, beach furniture, coastal structures and indigestible plastic all pose serious threats, she said.

"Only one out of every 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. Each year thousands of hatchlings die from predation, exhaustion and starvation due to the disorientation caused by bright, artificial lights," Irwin added.

Sarasota County regulates beachfront lighting and storage of recreational items such as beach furniture. Activities disruptive to sea turtles are prohibited during nesting season, from May 1 through Oct. 31.