Turtle hatchlings disoriented by Fort Myers Beach home lights

Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:
Sea Turtle hatchling. Credit: Fort Myers Beach

Turtle hatchlings are being disoriented by light sources from surrounding Fort Myers Beach homes, preventing them from reaching the Gulf waters.

According to the Town of Fort Myers Beach, hatchlings from 12 of the 32 nests have become disoriented when they hatch, according to the Town of Fort Myers Beach.

Instead of heading toward the beach, they’ve gone toward Estero Boulevard, the Town reported.

The Town is urging property owners on Estero Islands on both sides of Estero Boulevard to evaluate their exterior and interior lighting in order to save the rest of the turtles ready to hatch. The Town said 69 nests have been deposited along the shore.

The Town is asking homeowners to install functional curtains, especially on rental homes. Additionally, any house that is visible from the beach needs to use wavelength bulbs for exterior lighting, even if the house is on the bayside of the island. Exterior lights should also be in downward-directed fixtures that shield visibility from the beach.

Love wavelength bulbs also need to be installed on the streetside of the beachfront home because bright LEDs are reflecting off neighboring buildings and causing a glow that disorients hatchlings.

If you find a hatchling wandering in the daytime, place it in a dry container without any water and call Turtle Time right away at 239-481-5566.

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