The city of Fort Pierce has issued an edict (April 7 City Commission meeting) requiring all residents of condominiums on the beach to pull down shades, turn off lamps and batten down the lights to aid sea turtles in their search for nesting sites and ensuring hatchlings make their destination in the right direction – east.
The lights confuse the turtles and cause the hatchlings to move toward land lights rather than toward the ocean. If we follow this line of logic, we can assume that fewer eggs are laid and fewer hatchlings make it to the ocean due to home lights.
Fewer turtles each season endanger the species, thus lights out or turtles gone.
The mandate is required during nesting/hatching season from March to October.
Now that we have this bit of information that should surprise no one, we move to giant wind turbines on the beach. What do they do to the sea turtles? The vibrations in the sand cannot be good for nesting turtles or hatchlings. At the very least, on a moonlit night when the turbines might be working, shadowing and strobing will occur, disturbing the turtles, old and young, from their ancient duty.
Oh, but wait a minute. My guess is that Florida Power and Light is preparing signs as I write, directing sea turtles to areas of the beach where they will not be disturbed by the behemoths in front of them and above them, thumping in the sand.
Lucky for us that turtles can read.
Come on, Governor. Come on, St. Lucie County commissioners. Come on, people. Call back common sense and let’s stop this FPL project – now.
21 April 2008
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