Sarasota, Florida-The first sea turtle nest of the season was just spotted in Venice. Long Boat Key just revised its sea turtle ordinance to make it even tougher.
Next time a sea turtle comes on shore in Longboat Key to nest, they won’t find these.
“If they store any furniture on the beach store or bring them back to the dune line not into the vegetation that’s protected,” says Chris Elbon, Code Enforcement officer for the Town of Longboat Key. Elbon says beach furniture is a hazard for sea turtles.
Elbon says, “As they crawl up, they can get stuck under the furniture, drag it out to the beach, and potentially drown. Umbrellas and large furniture if they bump into them can scare them won’t nest go back into the water.”
Removing furniture each night is one of the several new rules under Longboat Key’s revamped sea turtle protection ordinance. Eldon says the Key had the highest number of turtle disorientation cases each year since 2010.
“We needed more protection of nourished beaches during turtle season provide that habitat for turtles,” says Elbon.
“At first we thought it be a hassle and expense and it was not a drop in the bucket,” says Mark Meador, general manager at Casa Del Mar condominiums on Longboat Key.
The new rules included new lighting too. Meador had all 200 lighting fixtures changed at about 200 dollars a piece and added amber colored low wavelength bulbs.
Meador says, “Take all our globe lights fixtures for 30 years replaced with FWC complaint night sky fixtures shielded all sides but downward.”
Meador added educational signs reminding guests of no flash photography at night and to close their blinds at night to keep the interior light in. Guests receive the same list of rules and a red led light to see turtles at night.
Meador says the rules are easy to follow. “Once they understand why…good chance they’ll see a turtle lay eggs or hatchlings,” says Meador.
Code enforcement will give it out warnings but if the violation isn’t corrected fines can start at $250 dollars a day, a second violation is $500 dollars a day.