Lisa showing off our new “Sea Turtle Friendly” certification!
Ocean’s Reach guests know that we are dedicated when it comes to protecting our island’s sea turtles. We’ve just taken another big step forward to continue to be at the forefront when it comes to conservation efforts.
Working with the Sea Turtle Conservancy, we have just completed retrofitting more than 40 lights around the property to reduce the negative impact of lights on sea turtles.
Coastal artificial lights are often the brightest lights on the beach, distracting many newborn hatchlings from seeking moonlit water when they emerge from their nests, and persuading them to precariously travel inland, instead. Sadly, they then become confused and disoriented, and more often than naught succumb to dehydration, exhaustion or terrestrial predators on the beach.
Several months ago, we started working with staff from the Sea Turtle Conservancy in Gainesville, who traveled to the property and analyzed how our lighting could be improved. The result was retrofitting existing lighting to be more sea turtle friendly by utilizing long wavelength — sea turtles are less disturbed by wavelengths of 560 nm and above — amber LED bulbs on pathways, walls and area lighting.
Ocean’s Reach has long been diligent in this area, installing low fixtures and shielded lighting for sea turtle preservation many years ago. Now, we are providing even more protection for these little guys, helping to ensure that they have a fighting chance to make their way to the water.
With our guests’ help, of course! Remember to always:
- Keep your curtains closed and ensure all outside lights remain off at night throughout sea turtle season from April 15 – November 1.
- Make sure to remove chairs, umbrellas, toys and other gear from the beach each night and fill in any holes that you’ve dug. These obstacles may cause a “false crawl” where a female turtle returns to the water without laying her eggs. They may also block a ha
tchling’s route to the water causing it to perish.
- Please pick up all trash, especially plastic, which sea turtles often mistake for food.
- Do not use flashlights or take flash photography at night on the beach.
- Stay clear of marked nesting areas. Do not allow children to disturb turtle nests.
- If you happen to see a sea turtle, keep a respectful distance – at least 150 feet – and watch quietly. It is a rare experience and one to be treasured!