World Turtle Day was celebrated last week, and did you know that of the seven species of sea turtles worldwide? Over 5 can be found nesting in Florida: Loggerhead, Green, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley and Leatherback. The Flatback sea turtle is found in Northern Australia, Southern Indonesia and Southern Papua New Guinea. The Olive Ridley is found in the tropical regions of the Pacific.
In Marco Island, the Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee (BACR) met for the first time since January 15th. The main item on their agenda was the revision and update of Marco’s 2001 Sea Turtle Lighting Protection Ordinance. The City of Marco Island recognizes that artificial lighting and other human–related activities on the beach and upland areas have a detrimental effect on the life cycle and nesting activities of sea turtles.
Residents of Marco Island recognize that their quality of life is enhanced by the presence of a healthy sea turtle population. These set of rules and regulations will help minimize the detrimental impact of artificial light on the nesting sea turtle population.
Important Terms to Learn About Artificial Lights
- Artificial light means the light emanating from any human-made device.
- Directly visible means visibility of the glowing elements, lamps, globes, ore reflectors of an artificial light source by an observer standing anywhere on the beach.
All lighting of outdoor areas shall be long–wavelength, downward directed, full cutoff, fully shielded and mounted as close to the ground or finished floor surface as possible to achieve the required foot-candles.
Televisions shall be located landward of the dune and shall be shielded or positioned as such that they are not directly, indirectly, or cumulatively visible from the beach. Handheld and other portable temporary lighting shall not be directed toward or used in a manner that disturbs sea turtles or other coastal wildlife.