Dozens of sea turtle nests were scattered over the beach in Fort Lauderdale. Sea turtles are endangered, so the city goes to great lengths to protect them. A person can be fined or imprisoned for interfering with the nests and street lights are mostly turned off at night. The few left on are very dim. The lack of ambient light on the streets adds to the party atmosphere in a few areas, but it can also be dangerous and one has to be a bit more cautious when out on a midnight stroll.
Volunteers watch over the nests at night. They use flashlights with red bulbs. The turtles cannot see red light. The volunteers try to make sure the turtles head in the right direction once hatched. Even though the street lights are turned off, there is still ambient light from cars, bars, etc. and if there is enough of it, a turtle may head for the street instead of the ocean. Even at night, the ocean surface has tiny flecks of light reflected from the stars or moon. This, and the slope of the beach, are what guide the sea turtles into the water.