Recently the PBA Beachkeepers, along with representatives from the NPS-Gulf Islands National Seashore, the University of Florida Sea Grant Extension Program and the SRIA, did a night tour of our beaches. They identified buildings and parking lots that have bright lights that could distract turtles attempting to lay eggs or the newborn hatchlings. Those “turtle unfriendly” sites will be contacted and offered a 50% match of the cost to make their lights turtle friendly. There is $50,000 in grant money available for this project.
Beachkeepers were also instrumental in working with the developers of the new 360 Observation Wheel on Pensacola Beach. The developers have agreed to turn off their bright stadium lights at 10:00 pm during the turtle nesting season, and will further limit their lighting if a nearby turtle nest is about to hatch.