On April 24-25, the Sea Turtle Conservancy will visit Longboat Key to present on the best lighting practices during sea turtle nesting season.
Sea turtle nesting season is just around the corner.
In preparation, the town of Longboat Key is sponsoring two lighting workshops.
At 6 p.m. on April 24 and 1 p.m. on April 25, the Sea Turtle Conservancy will deliver presentations on lighting solutions. Both workshops will be held at Town Hall in the commission chambers, 501 Bay Isles Road.
The workshop on the 24th will run for approximately an hour and is designed for residents and property managers. On the 25th, the workshop will run longer, about three-and-a-half hours, and is designed with code enforcement and staff that enforce ordinances in mind, but the public and property managers are welcome if they wish to gain more in-depth knowledge.
Code Enforcement Officer Chris Elbon said the second workshop will address the lighting problems, discuss lighting laws and evaluate the extent of the lighting issues, along with offering best practices for managing artificial light.
This nesting season, which runs from May 1 to Oct. 31, will be the third one after the town's implementation of updated nesting ordinances, which were adopted in July 2016. The 2017 nesting season was the first year they were enforced, and last year, the code enforcement was a bit stricter with the implementation of citations.
Elbon said the enforcement aspect will be the same this year, with one difference. Elbon said if someone is in keeping with the spirit of the code and not affecting the turtles but still needs to move furniture, for example, based on the ordinances, the town would have some leeway in enforcement.
Last nesting season, citations were given to violators who did not immediately fix their violation if they could, such as turning off a balcony or interior light. Other cases were given notices if those violations took longer to fix, such as changing light bulbs.
There was no lighting workshop presented by the Sea Turtle Conservancy on Longboat Key last year, but in 2017 the town hosted one with a small turnout, Elbon said.
“I feel like they’re important because the general public may not know these best-management practices or how artificial lighting affects sea turtles unless they have that kind of background or have had that education elsewhere,” he said.
Elbon said that the Sea Turtle Conservancy will probably not discuss the Longboat ordinances too much, but audience members can ask questions regarding them during the open discussion.
Attendance to the workshops is free. For more details about the workshops, call the Longboat Key Code Enforcement at 316-1966 ext. 2520.
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