Court Docket Full of Turtle Violations


Of the 19 cases to be heard by Town of Fort Myers Beach Magistrate Myrnabelle Roche on August 18th, 10 of them are for turtle ordinance violations. Here’s who made the naughty list.

Creciente Condo North (7148 Estero)
Pointe South Condo (5002 Estero)
Seaside Condo (4770 Estero)
Villa Del Mar Condo (4452 Estero)
FMBH, LLC (6890 Estero)
Seawatch on the Beach (6550 Estero)
Cane Palm Beach Condo (600 Estero)
Crescent Short Condo (1300 Estero)
Sanibel View Villas Condo Association (Pink Shell)
6230 Carousel, LLC (6230 Estero Boulevard)

Typically when cases come before the magistrate it’s because a property owner wants to contest the violation or fine the town has levied against them. However, many times, the property owner does not show up and the fine plus court costs are handed down by Roche.

The Fort Myers Beach town council has instructed staff to crack down on turtle ordinance violations due to the massive amount of lights that can still be seen on the beach every night and many years of education, both by the town and condo and hotel owners. With so many building situated directly on the beach for nearly all of its 7 miles, it becomes a difficult challenge to get everyone to follow the rules.

Turtle season runs from May to October. While the town staff has reported that the beach has been darker this year than many years in the past, there have still been 7 disorientations so far, 2 more than all of last year.

Fines to property owners have ranged from $50 to $500 for repeat violators. There have been over 230 investigations by staff this season for turtle ordinance violations.


  1. I am sick, sick, sick hearing about turtle disorientation.
    Peoples lives matter and losing your way or falling inside your own home because you can’t turn on a light is more of a problem.

  2. The sheer amount of fines and $$ amount of them that came to our building is INSANITY, $500 for turning on a kitchen light when you walk inside so you can see where you’re going is ridiculous, if someone leaves a bright light on for an entire night I can see some kind of fine or warning, but having a light on for a few minutes just to see where you’re going when you come home after 9pm should NOT be hit with a $500 bill from the town.

  3. I agree. I mean come on here. These turtles have been around for millions of years. In one breath these people tell
    You that these things are so smart they come back to their original beach they were hatched from. Next breath, can’t decide which way the water is. Squirrels do same thing. Some decide to cross the road some don’t make it. Also, what if it’s cloudy that night? Then what? They just hang out and wait until the next night there’s a moon?

  4. Serious questions here.
    How do we know the lights are causing turtle disorientations?
    It’s often said shore lights attract turtles away from the gulf.
    Does the moon only appear over the gulf?

    • I was wondering that too!
      Isn’t the moon sometimes over the bay.
      Also let’s hear how many turtles successfully hatched versus 7 disoriented turtles.


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