For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - St. Lucie County thanks oceanfront residents for their continued compliance with sea-turtle friendly lighting requirements. Sea- turtle friendly lighting requirements remain in effect during nesting season, which runs from March 1 through Nov. 15.
St. Lucie County's Mosquito Control District and coastal management department commissioned a lighting survey which was published in August.
More than 90 beachfront facilities were surveyed. High-intensity lighting was observed on only three properties. Moderate to low-intensity lighting problems were identified on other locations.
The county's code enforcement officers will contact properties identified in the survey. While the UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension has no regulatory authority, it will continue to provide educational programs designed to teach residents about sea-turtle friendly beaches and how to comply with lighting requirements.
Research has shown that improper beach front lighting greatly increases sea turtle mortality. Because of the danger posed by improper beach-visible lighting, there are federal and state laws that protect threatened and endangered sea turtle populations.
The county enforces these rules. Failure to obey can result in a code violation and increased sea turtle mortality.
According to county code, exterior light sources directly visible from the beach, or illuminating areas seaward of the primary dune, must be turned off between sunset and sunrise during nesting season.
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 structure seaward of the primary dune designed for pedestrian traffic must be shielded so they are not directly visible from the beach.
To prevent interior lights from illuminating the beach, window treatments are required on all windows of single and multi-story structures if these windows are within the line of sight of the beach.
Blackout draperies or shade screens are preferred. Alternatively, window tint may be applied to beachfront windows. People are encouraged to turn out all unnecessary interior lights during nesting season.
For more information on sea-turtle friendly beaches, call (772) 462-1660. For additional information on this light survey or to learn more about sea turtle friendly lighting, email firstname.lastname@example.org.