In addition to being a beautiful coastal community, did you know the Town of Surfside is home to sea turtles? Our public beach happens to serve as an important nesting area for these creatures and other wildlife. Sea turtle nesting season typically takes place in Surfside from May 1 to October 31, although the Town had its first sighting of this season in late February.
WATCH SEA TURTLE VIDEO (Video also featured on Channel 663)
You can help play a crucial role in protecting the sea turtles.
- Do not touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests. To report a dead or injured sea turtle, call the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) at 888-404-3922.
- Avoid the use of flashlights, lanterns or flash photography while on the beach at night during nesting season.
- Remove all items, such as beach chairs and trash, from the beach at night.
- Minimize the use of direct artificial lighting from properties located along the beach. Light pollution can disorient nesting adults and hatchlings, and cause hatchlings to wander inland where they often die of dehydration or predation.
- Turn off, dim or shield outdoor and indoor lights
- Move lamps that can reflect light to beach
- Close drapes or blinds
- Tint or install tinted windows with line-of-sight from beach
To further protect nesting and hatchling sea turtles, the Town of Surfside banned the use or sale of plastic straws (No. 2018-1690) and polystyrene food service articles (No. 15-1630), as well as adopted proposed lighting regulations recommended by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and FFWCC. Refer to Ordinance No. 2018-1688 “Lighting Regulations for Marine Turtle Protection.” The Town’s Code Compliance Division will inspect and enforce the ordinance, and can issue civil tickets of up to $250 daily fines for lighting violations.
For questions, contact the Code Compliance Division at 305-861-4863, ext. 230.