Being in the dark is a good thing for Sea Turtles! Humans being in the dark about the turtles’ need for the dark is a bad thing for everyone. Hatchlings use light to guide them to the ocean. Without human interference, this light would be moonlight reflecting off the ocean or the brightness of the crashing waves. Unfortunately, humans have added many lights near the ocean and they often guide the turtles away from the ocean and toward the west where they have little chance for survival. We have found hatchlings as roadkill in A1A and wandering up in the dunes where they have a greater chance to be picked off by predators, killed by fireants, or dead from exhaustion or dehydration. This summer is my fourth year volunteering with Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (S.T.O.P.) on the beaches of Broward County, Florida and I’ve found that I spend just as much time educating residents and tourists as I do saving the hatchlings and protecting the moms as they come ashore to lay their eggs. Every night that I volunteer, I see people using flashlights, bright cell phone screens, cameras with flash, or even lighting fireworks or bonfires. While it’s difficult to educate all of the people in condominiums, restaurants, beachfront homes and hotels, it is very easy to politely and kindly ask people on the beach to switch to red LED flashlights, turn their phone lights to the dimmest setting, or to stop taking photographs with flash. Most people appreciate the information and immediately cooperate and then ask a lot of questions about the turtles and their babies. South Florida is privileged to have a nesting habitat for three different species of Sea Turtles, Loggerhead, Green, and Leatherback, and we need to respect their needs or we will continue to lose more of them. Human activity frightens the mothers and often deters them from laying eggs. If you are on the beach and see a turtle, please stay far away and quiet and make sure others do the same. If you are able to volunteer or would like more information, please visit the STOP website. Extinction is forever and the turtles need our help now.