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It's Important to be Sea Turtle-Friendly with Waterfront Lighting

by Scott Myers
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For property owners directly on the shoreline, protection against erosion has become synonymous with protecting their property. There are several methods that are generally employed that involve structural construction on and near the shoreline. Two methods that are sometimes confused are the breakwater and seawall. However, they are quite different. Let's take a closer look at these two types of construction.

Related Blog: Green Underwater Deck Lights: Why the Color Green?

 

Florida Sea Turtle Season

The state of Florida is a crucial habitat for the nesting of our beloved sea turtles. Found on Brevard Times, sea turtles make their journey to lay their eggs as early as March along Florida's Atlantic beaches. For us in Southwest Florida, the Gulf Coast beaches start seeing their trails in the latter part of April and into May.

 

Most of us Floridians have seen the protected areas where many dedicated volunteers help to keep these precious eggs safe in hopes the hatchlings will safely make their into the sea to grow to old age. It's always exciting to see the trail the female left behind in search of the perfect nesting spot.

 

Southwest Florida is Seriously Sea Turtle-Friendly 

Southwest Florida is an area that is one of the most prominent areas for these "ancient creatures," as found on Must Do Visitor Guides. As reported, the population of sea turtles "is generally in decline, with some species being listed as vulnerable, threatened, endangered, or even critically endangered."

 

When you realize how many years it takes for some of the larger turtles to mature, it is critical that as many hatchlings as possible make it back into the seas. You may enjoy learning about the sea turtles that grace our Southwest Florida waters.

 

The Perils of Coastal Lighting

There is no better place to learn everything you want to know about sea turtles than the Sea Turtle Conservancy. As you will read, artificial lighting threatens the population of ALL of our sea turtles. 

  • Nesting females are in search of a "quiet, dark beach on which to nest." After the female makes "multiple false crawls," she may end up laying her eggs on the ocean floor, and "the survival outlook for hatchlings is slim." 
  • Artificial lighting attracts and disorients sea turtle hatchlings. Instead of heading into the water, they may make their journey further inland, "where they often die of dehydration or predation." 
  • It's so important to "call local law enforcement" if you should discover "disoriented hatchlings" wandering inland. 

Let's Be Lighting Conscious 

By limiting any nighttime lighting that is visible from sea turtle nests is vital to help in the conservation of our graceful sea creatures. As you may or may not know, "coastal communities around the world have passed an ordinance that requires residents to turn off beachfront lights during turtle nesting season."

  • Be conscientious about turning off lights at night, or invest in light covers "to shield the lights from the beach."
  • Learn about "low-pressure sodium-vapor lighting."
  • "Tint windows that face the beach."
  • Close your "curtains and blinds" to avoid your internal lighting from shining out towards the beach. 
  • Find out about "turtle safe lighting, which  is less intrusive to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings."

Sea Turtle-Friendly Lighting 

For many of us Southwest Floridians, we love turning on lights around our landscaping and boat docks at night. It's exciting to see the many types of sea creatures all around our waterfront property.

 

During sea turtle season, it is imperative to dim the lights, and there are turtle-friendly lighting solutions, as also found on Sea Turtle Conservancy. Here, you will find great examples of lighting to also use around your home or business.

 

There are "three golden rules" to remember when you're making your home or business sea turtle-friendly: "keep it low, keep it shielded, and keep it long." The recommended bulbs "utilize long-wavelength light (580 nanometers or longer), such as lights that are yellow, amber, or red in color."

 

Let's Make Your Business or Home Sea Turtle-Friendly

Located in Southwest Florida, Duncan Seawall, Dock and Boat Lift, LLC, the Duncan team is committed to keeping the Florida coast and waters safe for our sea-dwelling creatures. Lights beautify our waterfront properties at night. Enjoy the lights that don't cause harm to our sea turtles. 

 

Even the smallest jobs are the most important. Call the Duncan team to find out how we can turn your waterfront property into a sea turtle-friendly home.

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