The most important thing you can do to protect Hilton Head Island’s Loggerhead sea turtles is
to turn the lights out!
Sea turtle hatchlings usually emerge from the nest at night. They orient themselves toward the brightest horizon and dash towards the sea. Visible lights from buildings or streets near the beach disorient the hatchlings, and they wander inland where they are almost certain to die. If they don’t make it to the ocean quickly, hatchlings are likely to die of dehydration in the sun or could be caught by predators like birds or crabs. Artificial lights also discourage females from nesting.
The Town of Hilton Head Island requires that lights on structures visible from the beach be shielded or turned off from dust to dawn from May 1 to October 31. Any windows facing the beach must also be covered with draperies or shade screens. Failure to do so can result in a hefty fine.
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