Clean Dark Flat

Clean, dark, flat! That’s our mantra, and when you visit the beach it should be yours, too. With your help, we can make the beach a safer place for sea turtles. It's a never-ending, daily effort. Please share this mantra with others!


foot prints in sand

Leave nothing but footprints. If we all leave the beach a little cleaner than we found it, we’ll all have a better world.

  • Instead of disposable packaging, bring food and drinks in reusable containers. If you do use
    disposable containers, take them with you when you leave.
  • Use a canvas tote instead of plastic bags.
  • Use care not to let children’s or dog’s toys escape into the water.
  • Keep shoes and other items safely back from the waves.
  • Dispose of food waste--think apple cores or banana peels--in trash cans. Better yet, take them
    home and compost them.


dark beach

Mother sea turtles prefer to nest on dark beaches. The darkness gives the hatchlings the greatest chance of survival. When babies hatch they follow reflections of the moon and stars to find the water. Artificial lighting can disorient them. Here are the ways we teach humans to help:

  • Install turtle-safe lighting. Amber and red lights are less distracting for them. We have helped
    businesses get grants to offset some of the costs of retrofitting their lighting.
  • If you walk on the beach at night and carry a flashlight, make it a red light.
  • If you live in view of the beach, turn off your beach-facing lights at night.


clean beach

A baby sea turtle can fall into the smallest hole -- even one left by a beach umbrella! Turtles stuck after sunrise are likely to die. Mounds of sand can obstruct mothers from making it to their nesting destination. Did you know turtles can’t walk in reverse? A stuck mother may get exhausted and give up or lay her eggs too close to the water’s edge. Here’s how to help:

  • Encourage kids to fill holes and knock down sand castles when it’s time to head home. (Take a
    video and hashtag it #cleandarkflat to encourage others to do the same!)
  • As you leave, fill in holes that others may have left.
  • Remove all chairs, umbrellas, and tents.