And it ends October 31st. Turtle Time let us know that this picture is from Monday, day one of turtle nesting season, and it turned out to be a false crawl. Thanks to Hurricane Ian the entire landscape of Fort Myers Beach has changed so it’s important to make sure you have lights that comply with the law.
Conventional lighting scares females from nesting and disorients hatchlings away from the Gulf, leading to exhaustion, dehydration, and death from falling into storm drains, passing cars, and predators.
Long wavelength amber bulbs in downward directed fixtures that shield the bulb from the beach are encouraged everywhere on the island, not just beachfront, because so many structures and vegetation that previously shielded light from the beach are gone due to Hurricane Ian. Besides lighting, it is also just as important to draw curtains closed at night.
“When it comes to windows and glass slider doors, the Town adopted new rules in 2022 for Sea Turtle Conservation. Windows and doors/sliders are required to have a light transmittance of 45% or less AND have a window cover installed. Read the Town’s Sea Turtle Conservation Ordinance.”
The Sea Turtle Conservancy recommends Frontier Lighting and Synergy Lighting. Long wavelength amber bulbs can also be found online. Search for “sea turtle amber LED” and the bulb type that you need. It’s important to verify that the spectrum specifications of the bulb indicate 560 nm or greater.
One of the cheapest FWC certified wildlife lighting options that town staff have found online is the FEIT A19 Red Bulb that screws into classic Edison fixtures. Please note, filter wraps, gels, and colored party bulbs are not compliant because sea turtles are sensitive to their light.
The Town will monitor lights on the beach during season. Efforts will focus on educating property owners on solutions. Property owners are encouraged to walk on the beach to see if their property’s lighting is visible from the beach and install wildlife friendly lighting.
It’s also important to keep the beach litter free and fill in all holes that are dug into the sand.
The Town’s Environmental Projects Manager Chadd Chustz is available for questions and light inspections. Contact him directly at email@example.com.
You can also learn a lot about the turtles by visiting the Turtle Time website HERE.