For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - The University of Florida/IFAS St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension has partnered with the St. Lucie County Mosquito Control and Coastal Management Department and students of F.K. Sweet Elementary School in Fort Pierce to develop and produce new sea turtle car window clings to promote reduced lighting on county beaches during sea turtle nesting season.
Funding for these clings was provided, in part, by the students of F.K. Sweet and is a continuation of the extension office's sea turtle friendly beaches educational campaign.
Ken Gioeli and Susan Munyan, St. Lucie County extension agents, are recipients of the 2012 first place in state and bronze third place national innovative program awards for the Sea Turtle Friendly Beaches campaign.
Window clings are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the following location: St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension, 8400 Picos Road, suite 101, Fort Pierce; St. Lucie County Mosquito Control & Coastal Management, 3150 Will Fee Road, Fort Pierce; Oxbow Eco-Center, 5400 NE St. James Drive, Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department, 2300 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce.
Sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1 to Nov. 15. Code inspectors routinely survey for proper lighting on beaches during this season. County code indicates during sea turtle nesting season, exterior light sources directly visible from the beach or illuminating areas seaward of the primary dune must be turned off between sunset and sunrise.
Existing artificial light sources should not be directly visible from the beach and cannot illuminate areas seaward of the primary dune. Lights illuminating beach access points, dune crossovers, beach walkways, piers or any other structures seaward of the primary dune designed for pedestrian traffic must be shielded so they are not directly visible from the beach.
For more information, call (772) 462-1660 or (772) 462-1692.