The Loggerheads are here. Since turtle season began, Fort Myers Beach has reported 8 nests and 4 false crawls so far. Let’s see how Fort Myers Beach compares with the surrounding communities.
Sanibel East has 4 nests and had 14 false crawls, Sanibel West checks in with 22 nests and 21 false crawls, Captiva has 4 nests and 9 false crawls, and Bonita Beach has 11 nests and had 7 false crawls.
We need dark beaches so remember to close your drapes at night, turn off or shield those exterior lights or use Amber LED bulbs for outside illumination. Fill in all holes on the beach and remove all obstacles and trash at night.
Don’t use flashlights, cell phones or take a flash photo of a sea turtle if you are lucky enough to witness one crawling onto the beach.
Turtle season began on May first and runs through October.
Thanks for the info Eve!
FWC does not allow us to shield nests for lighting issues. This regulation was the result of disorientations occurring in an east coast community where the thought was that shielded nests were safe for hatchlings’ orientation and folks did not have to be in lighting compliance. Unfortunately, light visible from the beach is likely to be problematic for hatchlings trying to find their way to the Gulf. Once beyond the shield, they will still turn towards the artificial light source.
Is there anything else that can be done to help sea turtles find their way back to the Gulf? Turtle Time knows where the turtle nests are and they rope off the nests. They know when the eggs were laid and they know the approximate date when eggs should hatch. Prior to hatching couldn’t an opaque, low height screen or fence be placed behind the nests to block all sources of artificial light? The screen would be temporary in nature, wouldn’t need to be very tall and they could be reused as needed.