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Lights Out for Sea Turtles

PATRICK AFB, Fla. -- Annual Notice to All 45 SW Organizations, Tenants & Residents

All 45th Space Wing organizations, tenants and residents are reminded that sea turtle nesting season officially begins on May 1 and continues through Oct. 31.

The beaches at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base are prime nesting habitat for loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles. Artificial lighting negatively affects nocturnal sea turtle behavior of both adults and hatchlings.

Disorientation occurs when sea turtles crawl toward inland light sources rather than the ocean. To minimize injury or death to sea turtles protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), all nonessential lighting must be extinguished between 2100 and 0600 hours during nesting season (May 1- Oct 31). Exterior lighting that is not mission-, safety-, or security-essential will be extinguished during this time frame.

For further information regarding exterior lighting at 45 SW installations, please see Space Wing Instruction (SWI): 45 SWI 32-7001, Exterior Lighting Management.

Questions regarding the requirements of the SWI or concerns relating to sea turtles and lighting should be directed to 45 SW Civil Engineering Asset Management Flight (45 CES/CEAN) at 494-5286 for PAFB or 853-6858/6822 for CCAFS.