Turtle-Friendly Lighting on Pensacola Beach

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Although this is not specifically a city issue, it is an issue that is nonetheless very important to me. Growing up in Pensacola, I long been a lover of our beautiful Pensacola Beach and its sea turtle population. Judging from the turtle license plates I see on the road, many in our community share my passion.

I spoke with Mr. Buck Lee, executive director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority, about turtle-friendly lighting.

Turtle friendly lighting is important because bright, unnatural lighting can disortient sea turtle hatchlings and cause them to head inland instead of out to the Gulf. When this happens, it almost always ends fatally for the hatchlings as they are often killed by vehicular traffic etc.

We are all aware of the new Indigo Hotel going up on Pensacola Beach and other projects either under construction or on the drawing board. Mr. Lee has assured me there is an ordinance, which is enclosed, that addresses the issue of turtle-friendly lighting. He assured me that all new developments on Pensacola Beach will install turtle-friendly lighting.

I encouraged Mr. Lee to strictly enforce the ordinance. May 1—September 31st is the sea turtles nesting season.

Mr. Buck Lee's letter to me with ordinance language attached:

Sea Turtles
Sea Turtles Larry B. Johnson

Some more information on sea turtles:

Sea Turtle Pen Bch
Sea Turtle Pen Bch Larry B. Johnson


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