Project Title: Embedded Roadway Lighting Program Enhancements
Project Manager: Kirt Rusenko
Organization: Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (Florida Government)
Grant Amount: $13,910.00
Completion Date: 2008-04-14
Summary: Since 2001 a one-half mile section of A1A in Spanish River Park, Boca Raton has been a FDOT Research Project to see if Embedded Roadway Lighting can be used to delineate roadways rather than use streetlights. When this area of beach was renourished in 1998, the streetlights along A1A were exposed to the beach. In 1999, the Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program recorded 1641 disoriented hatchlings of which 74% died. In 2000, our local power company, FL Power and Light adjusted the streetlights to turn the fixtures down to reduce light to the beach, during this year a little more than 1200 hatchlings were disoriented but suffered a lower mortality of 25%. The Embedded Roadway Lighting Project was installed in 2001 and consisted of pavement markers located every 30 feet in the center of the road that were lit with yellow Light Emitting Diodes so the roadway was delineated much like a runway. The streetlights in the project area were turned off at the beginning of the 2001 nesting season. Since the project was lit, there have been no reported hatchling disorientations due to direct light sources making the project 100% effective at reducing hatchling disorientations. After 2003, all maintenance for the project stopped and the project fell into disrepair. During the 2004 nesting season, the project was not functional but the City's Traffic Division still requested that the streetlights in the area be turned off. In 2005 the project was made functional again with a Sea Turtle License Plate Grant administered through Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management. The project remained largely functional until 2007 although almost half of the embedded lights failed to light due to the lack of maintenance. This project will provide the proper maintenance to make the Embedded Roadway Lighting Project functional again.
Results: Materials listed in grant application were ordered on September 8, 2008 and have all parts have been received. Receipts are included with final deliverables. All non working Smartstuds have been replaced and the roadway lighting is 100% functional. In the project area there were 5 nest disorientations due to sky glow (86 hatchlings, 75 to water) and 2 nest disorientations due to condominium landscape lighting (20 hatchlings, 14 to water). This is the first year that streetlights have not been involved in hatchling disorientations in the 1 ~ mile long project area. (Author: Kirt Rusenko)