Call Gov. DeSantis to VETO HB 1515 and Save Our Sea Turtles | Opportunity For All Floridians

UPDATE:Unfortunately, Governor DeSantis chose to sign this bill into law on July 5, 2023. Click here to find out how your lawmaker voted on this bill and hold them accountable. This form is no longer accepting new calls.


Thousands of concerned Floridians have already added their names urging Governor DeSantis to veto HB 1515, a dangerous law that could stop local governments from enacting important conservation measures to help save sea turtles.

But we know the governor’s office is keeping close track on how many phone calls they receive about this issue. Can you make a phone call today?

Why are sea turtles in danger?

Nearly 90% of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs in the state of Florida. In fact, visitors are often surprised to learn that more than 100,000 threatened and endangered sea turtles nest on Florida beaches every summer.

The biggest threat to sea turtle survival is light pollution. Sea turtle hatchlings have a strong attraction to light. Human-generated light from street lights and buildings can make hatchlings disoriented, crawling toward the light and away from the beach. On Florida’s Atlantic coast, some beaches with high turtle nesting density have lost thousands of hatchlings due to artificial light.

Florida’s coastal cities and towns have made great strides in limiting light pollution in areas where sea turtles nest. Local cities and counties have passed ordinances limiting the kinds of lights that can be installed near shorelines.

But a new bill being fast-tracked to the Governor’s desk — H.B. 1515 — threatens the ability of local governments to pass important conservation measures like the light pollution laws.

Why is H.B. 1515 so dangerous to sea turtles?

This bill would allow any business to sue the local government in opposition to an ordinance, and would require the local government to stop all enforcement of the ordinance while litigation was underway. It would also allow that business, if it prevailed in litigation, to recover attorney fees from the local government.

Not only would this bill 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If local governments are unable to enact or strengthen their existing, outdated ordinances, it is not an exaggeration to say that thousands of protected sea turtles may die each year.

Call Gov. DeSantis today and ask him to VETO H.B. 1515. It’s the right thing for Florida’s coast and the thousands of sea turtles that depend on our shores for their nesting habitat.

 

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