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Help Save the Sea Turtles: Remember Bonfires, Fireworks Prohibited on St. Lucie County Beaches

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Hutchinson Island - Tuesday August 23, 2022: St. Lucie County’s Code Compliance staff reminds residents and visitors that bonfires and fireworks are prohibited and using non-sea turtle friendly flashlights is highly discouraged on St. Lucie County beaches.

In recent weeks, biologists who monitor sea turtle nesting in St. Lucie County have noticed an increase in the disorientation of sea turtles. Please help us keep Hutchinson Island sea-turtle friendly, especially during the summer nesting season, which runs from March 1 – Nov. 15.

Hutchinson Island’s 21 miles of coastline are designated as critical nesting ground for endangered and threatened sea turtle populations, including Loggerhead, Green and Leatherback Turtles.

While the sale of fireworks is legal in Florida, St. Lucie County’s Code Compliance staff asked that residents not shoot fireworks over St. Lucie County beaches as the debris from these explosives leave behind trash on our public beaches, while the flashes and loud sounds disturb wildlife.

Additionally, residents and visitors are reminded to keep a clear path on the beaches for turtles to nest and baby sea turtles to make their way out to sea.

• Beach furniture should not be left on the beach overnight because of the dangers of entanglement.

• Sand castles should be knocked down to prevent sea turtle entrapment or injury.

• Walton Rocks Beach is the only dog-approved beach in St. Lucie County and dogs should be closely monitored to not dig up sea turtle nests. Additionally, if dogs (or children) do dig at the beach, please make sure the holes are filled in.

• Keep the beaches litter free.

• During nesting season, exterior light sources directly visible from the beach or illuminating areas seaward of the primary dune must be redirected, shielded or turned off between sunset and sunrise during nesting season.

• If you walk the beaches a night or at dusk/dawn, refrain from using flashlights or use low-light/lens-covered flashlights.

If anyone observes sea turtle nest poaching or harassment of sea turtles on the beach, please call 911 or the Florida Fish and Wildlife hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

For additional information on sea turtle friendly beaches, please contact Natural Resources Extension Agent Ken Gioeli at 772-462-1660.

For Code Compliance questions, please contact Building and Code Regulations Manager Monica Graziani at 772-462-1553.