FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Treasure Island Institutes Sea Turtle Friendly Lighting as Part of Ongoing Protection Initiative
Treasure Island, FL — 04/16/2021 — The City of Treasure Island, Florida—in an act of environmental protection—worked with State Representative Linda Chaney, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and Duke Energy Florida to install eight trial sea turtle-friendly lights along Gulf Boulevard to help reduce a serious problem for the sea turtle population.
On April 24, 2021 the community leadership, along with neighboring cities, will be gathering at the Treasure Island Beach Pavilion to recognize the achievement and discuss the future of this endeavor.
All of Florida’s species of sea turtles are either threatened or endangered. Hatchlings and nesting turtles are commonly disoriented by artificial light sources on the beach that mimic moonlight reflected on the water. This light-induced disorientation causes thousands of preventable deaths each year during turtle nesting season between May and October.
In a multi-year effort, the City of Treasure Island was a driving force in getting FDOT to update its design manual to include wildlife standards for sea turtles. The City also worked closely with Duke Energy to commission a streetlight fixture that would meet the new standards for approval by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Treasure Island has adopted progressive lighting standards as well. While it is up to the property owners to determine how best to meet lighting requirements, the City Code Department is instituting a daily fine structure for noncompliance, which can extend to island visitors when necessary.
State Rep. Chaney said, “For years Treasure Island has fought for this so I’m pleased to announce that they will be receiving turtle lights on Gulf Boulevard to protect turtle hatchlings. I was able to work across local and state levels to finally get this done for Treasure Island.”
Stacy Boyles, Assistant Public Works Director added, “Treasure Island is committed to protecting our wildlife. Small changes like these lights, especially when used up and down Gulf Boulevard throughout the County, can have a large positive impact. We are excited about the lights and have had great community support in updating our codes as well.”
The trial turtle-friendly streetlights have been installed on Gulf Boulevard at 112th Avenue in Treasure Island and are awaiting approval by FWC and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Once approved, these lights will be used throughout Pinellas County along Gulf Boulevard to aid in marine turtle survival.
Press is invited to attend:
Event Details: Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 12 pm
Sunset Beach Pavilion 8000 W Gulf Blvd. Treasure Island, FL 133706
RSVP to Ckidwell@mytreasureisland.org, attendance is limited to 50 people to comply with social distancing guidelines.