After reports of several hatchling disorientations, the town issued a CodeRED alert message to phones associated with Gulf-side and Bayport Beach & Tennis Club properties.
The alert, issued at noon yesterday, reminded residents about provisions of the town’s turtle-nesting ordinance.
“Sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 through Oct. 31 each year and is currently underway on Longboat Key. Your assistance is needed to help protect these endangered species. Please turn off or shield both outside and inside lights at night. If lights can be seen from the beach, they can disorient nesting or hatching turtles and prevent them from reaching the ocean. Please remove beach furniture, cabanas and other objects from the beach each evening or store them as far back on the beach as possible. Sea turtles do not maneuver well on land and may become trapped and die due to obstacles on the beach. Any large holes in the sand should also be filled to prevent adult turtles and hatchlings from becoming trapped in the holes.”
For questions about the town’s turtle protection and lighting ordinance or for information determining whether your lighting is in compliance with lighting guidelines, call the town at 316-1977.
To learn more about turtles, visit the websites of Longboat Key Turtle Watch, lbkturtlewatch.com, or Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, mote.org.
Contact Robin Hartill at firstname.lastname@example.org.