Lindsey Flynn, M.S., with The Sea Turtle Conservancy, gave a live demonstration to the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners, visually explaining why and how “friendly lighting” is needed for nesting turtles in miles of densely populated beaches. Friendly in terms of long-wave, low and shielded lighting.
Flynn explained that one female Loggerhead turtle (most common with other rare green turtles also here) may lay 80-120 eggs in as many as eight nests per season. The turtle and all the hatchlings follow moonlight and stars to find the ocean.
Artificial lights are interfering with this natural occurrence and Flynn showed graphic pictures of the disoriented hatchlings, mangled in roads or stranded in pools and parking lots, etc. which happens when they become confused by artificial lights at night.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy,s Beachfront Lighting Retrofit Program is on a mission to have beach residents in Pinellas County use long-wave lighting (amber or red), placed low and shielded. Flynn showed examples of traditional lighting and the preferred amber-style and housing. She added that it’s a very simple solution and already 27 properties have adapted lighting to program standards.
For more information about lighting grants and more, reach out to the Sea Turtle Conservancy at 352-373-6441 or http://www.conserve turtles.org.