MRTF Addresses Many Beach Issues


The Marine Resources Task Force Committee met this week to discuss a variety of issues. First up was revisiting the plight of Yellow-Bellied Slider Turtle. They are being sold on the beach, which was brought to the committee’s attention by Ranger Rob Howell last month.

There was agreement among members that stopping the sale of these turtles, which is an invasive species, was necessary and a discussion on how to do it ensued. It was eventually decided that two options would be brought before Town Council on Sept 10th. One was to create an ordinance adopting the current FDA law which prohibits the sale of turtles under 4 inches. The second was to disallow the sale of any reptiles.

Town council member Rexann Hosafros was in favor of complete prohibition of all sizes. “Let’s make it serious,” she said. “There’s no big business in favor of yellow belly sliders.” The town attorney will work with staff to bring something forward at the next M&P meeting.

Also discussed was how to get information out to the community and commercial landscapers about the fertilizer ordinance which was adopted in February. Members felt residents and the landscapers weren’t aware of the changes. Councilman Bill Veach said, “I bet a lot of these lawn services in the area may have not been informed.” The council questioned if there was a process in place to get the information out about the new ordinance as well as how it’s being enforced.

MRTF Committee Char Steve Johnson asked if a copy of the ordinance goes out to property owners who lease as they’re the ones who “call the shots on landscaping.” It was mentioned that the information is summarized on the town’s website HERE.

One idea to get the word out included having an education session for landscapers who work on the island when they get permits. The town manager said he’d talk with staff and come back with recommendations.