Sea Turtle Survival At Risk From Tallahassee Power Grab | Opportunity For All Floridians

Sea Turtle Survival At Risk From Tallahassee Power Grab

Nearly 90% of sea turtle nesting in the United States occurs in the state of Florida. Every year, more than 100,000 threatened and endangered sea turtles nest on Florida beaches, making it one of the most important nesting sites for these creatures. However, Florida lawmakers are pushing a new law through the Florida Legislature that could put the survival of these sea turtles at risk.

One of the biggest threats to sea turtle survival is light pollution. Hatchlings have a strong attraction to light, and human-generated light from street lights and buildings can make them disoriented. On Florida’s Atlantic coast, some beaches with high turtle nesting density have lost thousands of hatchlings due to artificial light. To address this issue, Florida’s coastal cities and towns have passed ordinances limiting the kinds of lights that can be installed near shorelines. These ordinances have been successful in limiting light pollution in areas where sea turtles nest, thereby reducing the number of disorientations.


Sea turtle hatchlings have a very low survival rate. The sooner they can get from their nest to the safety of the water, the more likely they are to survive.

However, the new bill being pushed in the Florida Legislature would threaten the ability of local governments to pass important conservation measures like light pollution laws. Under this bill, any business could sue the local government in opposition to an ordinance, and the local government would be required to stop all enforcement of the ordinance while litigation was underway. If the business prevailed in litigation, it could recover attorney fees from the local government.

This bill would not only have a “chilling effect” on local governments’ ability to enact laws to protect their local environment, but it would also freeze the enforcement of crucially important ordinances that protect Florida’s sea turtles from disorientation. If local governments are unable to enact or strengthen their existing, outdated ordinances, it is not an exaggeration to say that thousands of protected sea turtles may die each year. In addition, if an ordinance is suspended while litigation is occurring, it would mean that artificial light on that area’s beach would not be regulated, and more disorientations could occur.

The sea turtles in Florida are already facing many threats, including habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. They need all the protection they can get to survive and thrive. Local governments play a crucial role in protecting the environment, and their ability to pass laws and ordinances should not be undermined by state legislation. By allowing businesses to sue local governments over ordinances meant to protect sea turtles, the preemption bill being pushed in the Florida Legislature threatens the survival of these beloved creatures.

It is imperative that we protect sea turtles and their nesting sites. This bill must not be allowed to pass.

Take Action:

Save Florida’s Sea Turtles! Tell Gov. DeSantis to VETO HB 1515

If local governments can no longer enact or strengthen their existing ordinances, it is no exaggeration to say that thousands ...
Add Your Name →

More actions you can take to protect local freedoms:

Hold Your Lawmakers Accountable for the State Takeover of the Municipal Utility G.R.U.

Despite thousands of emails in opposition, Gov. DeSantis has signed the takeover of the municipally-owned Gainesville Regional Utility into law, a move which will almost ...
Add your name

Gov DeSantis signs S.B. 170, the Sea Turtle Killer. Hold Your Lawmakers Accountable For Their Votes.

The new law puts major restrictions on the ordinances our locally elected governments can pass, including important sea turtle protections, and many endangered sea turtles ...
Add your name

Hold Your Florida Lawmakers Accountable for Their Votes on the 2023 Big Developer Giveaways

The 2023 Florida legislative session was a big developer giveaway — at the expense of ordinary people. Use the tool on this page to find ...
Add your name

More articles about protecting home rule:

Moody’s Credit Rating Agency Comments on the State Takeover of the Gainesville Regional Utility

Moody’s Investors Service issued what they call a “comment” on the impact of a state-appointed board for GRU. The firm expressed concern the change would ...
Read More →

Let’s Celebrate Florida’s Diversity and Have More Local Freedom

State mandates proposed in Tallahassee would further undermine our ability to freely govern our communities, instead allowing corporations and their big teams of lawyers to ...
Read More →

Is Tallahassee Threatening Florida’s Democracy? State Preemption Laws Benefit Corporations at the Expense of Local Communities

Under preemption, the state government takes away decision-making power from local governments, making it easier for corporations to have their way in a state with ...
Read More →