Turtle Friendly Lighting Recognition Program

Turtle Friendly Lighting Recognition Program

Sea turtle nesting data for the 2022 season reported over 3,000 nests in Broward County. That’s a record for our area, and Hollywood’s sandy beach plays an important role in that success. Our beach is the desired nesting habitat for three species of endangered sea turtles: leatherbacks, loggerheads, and greens. It is vital that everyone does their part to ensure future successful nesting seasons on Hollywood Beach.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Sea turtle nesting season runs March 1st through October 31st annually. This is the time when the City’s “Turtle Friendly Lighting Ordinance” is in effect. Hatchlings are attracted to light. On undeveloped beaches, the ocean horizon is lighter than the land so new hatchlings head toward the water. In an urban beach environment, artificial light from buildings can disorient hatchlings and attract them away from the ocean. Turtle friendly lighting can minimize disorientation and make Hollywood Beach more hospitable to these endangered species.

sea turtle nest

Sea Turtle Friendly Lighting

The City’s lighting ordinance prohibits direct illumination of the beach at night during nesting season. To encourage compliance with the ordinance, the City has established a reward for property owners who are Turtle Lighting Compliant. All property owners along the barrier island are invited to apply for recognition of their commitment to the endangered sea turtle.

sea turtle swimming in the ocean

Certification Criteria

Hollywood’s turtle friendly lighting ordinance (§108, O-2011-07) requires that exterior lights be mounted as low in elevation as possible, shielded so that the light source is not visible from the beach, directed down and away from the beach, and have a low wattage amber or red bulb. To reduce or eliminate the visibility of interior light from the beach, tinted glass or film must be installed on north, east, and south facing doors and windows on new developments. Existing buildings can install window and door tint, move light fixtures away from windows, close the blinds and curtains, and turn off all unnecessary lights.

To receive recognition, a property must fully comply with the City’s turtle friendly lighting ordinance (§108, O-2011-07).

Certification Process

  1. Use the checklist as a guide to qualifying for recognition. (See full checklist below)
  2. Apply for certification here.  A City of Hollywood Code Compliance officer will contact you to schedule a review of your property's lighting.
  3. Correct any outstanding issues, if needed.
  4. Schedule final certification review of improvements
  5. Receive award recognition for being turtle friendly!
turtle friendly lighting recognition program

Award and Recognition

  • Award presentation by City of Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy at an upcoming Hollywood Beach Business Association Meeting and City Commission Meeting.
  • Property location highlighted on the City’s main website and other outreach channels.
  • Possible additional on-site recognition via marketing materials (possible banner/stickers/table tent/signage)

Apply Today to be Recognized!

Apply by clicking the online application link below to schedule your certification review today.


Additional Resources for Achieving Certification

Exterior Lighting Checklist

  • Fixtures are positioned so that the point source of light or any reflective surface of the light fixture is not visible from the Beach or otherwise illuminating the beach.
  • All bulbs are low wattage amber or red, LED, LPS, Bug Type Bulb, or True Neon Light.
  • Fixtures have opaque shields so that the source of light is not visible from the north, east, and south sides of the fixture.
  • Lights are positioned downward and away from the beach.
  • Lights illuminating buildings or associated grounds, for decorative or recreational purposes are positioned so light is cast downward and shielded or screened so that the light sources are not visible from the beach, or are turned off between sunset to sunrise, during turtle nesting season (March 1 – October 31).
  • Illuminated signage either facing the beach or in the line-of-sight of the beach, including building identification signs, is shielded or repositioned so that the point source of light or any reflective surface of the light fixture is not visible from the beach or otherwise illuminating the beach.
  • Exterior lights used expressly for safety or security purposes are limited to the minimum number and configuration required to achieve their functional roles. Motion detector switches that keep lights off except when approached and that switch lights on for a period not to exceed five (5) minutes each time motion is detected are preferred.
  • Fixtures that could not be brought into compliance with the ordinance have been removed or disabled.

Interior Lighting Checklist

  • No interior lighting is visible from the beach or otherwise illuminating the beach.

One or more of the following measures will reduce or eliminate the negative effects of interior light emanating from doors and windows within the line-of-sight of the beach:

  1. Apply window tint or film at 45% light transmittance level on the north, south and east facing windows and doors.
  2. Rearrange lamps and other moveable fixtures away from windows.
  3. Use window treatments (e.g. blinds, curtains) to shield interior lights from the beach.
  4. Turn off unnecessary lights between sunrise and sunset, during turtle nesting season.
Turtle Friendly Lighting Recognition Program