Portofino Goes "Turtle Friendly"
Sea Grant Extension Agent
The Portofino Masters Homeowners Association on Pensacola Beach was recently recognized for their efforts in changing the parking garage lights in each of their five towers to wildlife friendly bulbs. Each year, hundreds of sea turtles are disoriented and led inland by artificial lights. Hatchlings are particularly susceptible to lights and are then eaten by predators, run over by cars, or dehydrate the next morning. By installing wildlife friendly lighting, which emits light less likely to attract turtles and other wildlife, property owners can help provide natural habitat and assist survival of turtles and other threatened species. Additionally, many of these lights and fixtures can save property owners money by reducing energy costs.
The new amber lights emit 30% less light and emit wavelengths that are less visible to wildlife. Photo Credits: D.J. Zimmerman
The Turtle Friendly Beach Program was created by Florida Sea Grant and the University of Florida Extension. Property owners may achieve recognition by voluntarily adopting best management practices that reduce human impact on nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings. Grant funding may be available to assist property owners in their efforts. For more information, contact Andrew Diller at the Escambia County UF-IFAS Extension or your local Sea Grant Extension agent.