The Sea Turtle Monitor for Marco Island, Yesenia Olvera, reported that Hideaway Beach had its first sea turtle nest successfully hatched last week. So far, Marco has had no report of hatchling disorientation and would like to keep it that way.
According to Tonya Long of FWC, the rule of thumb is “if you can see light from the beach, it could potentially be problematic.” If you are driving along Collier Boulevard at the intersection of San Marco going North, you’ll notice that some lights had shrouding installed on the beach facing side of each fixture.
The shrouded lights at the intersection are partially blocked by the Gulfview Condo and their landscaping. The offending light in this stretch are the ones that are in the area of Residents Beach entrance—where the bright glow is very visible from the beach. This glow has the potential to draw hatchlings away from the water and also deter females from coming ashore to nest.
The Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee (BACR) has been testing several items such as the use of Certified Turtle Safe Flashlight. It has seven LED bulbs that emit only red light. A standard flashlight emits white or short–wavelength light and is known to disorient both adult sea turtles and hatchling. A Turtle Safe Flashlight with its light output from the red flashlight indicates no short wavelength or light that is disruptive to sea turtles. The flashlight was given to Night Code Enforcement for their assessment.
BACR is also testing the use of an EncapSulite “Turtle Safelight Guide” – Sea Turtles are unaffected by amber, orange and red visible light. Looking through the EncapSulite Guide card at the surrounding building at night, lighting that is NOT Sea Turtle Friendly will appear blue, green and purple. This can be used as a diagnostic and screening tool for specific fixtures and sections of the beach at night. Shared with Marco CSO for feedback and assessment.
Anticipated Sea Turtle Hatching Dates has been shared with Marco’s Code Enforcement. It is very important that hotels and condos on the beach KEEP IT DARK after 9 PM to prevent hatchling disorientation.
Anticipated Sea Turtle Hatching Dates:
- 6/28: Crescent Beach
- 7/22: Princess Del Mar
- 7/26: Crystal Shores
- 7/26: Sunset House
- 7/31: Apollo
- 8/6: Sand Castle IIc