Grant: 08-008E
Project Title: Sarasota County Sea Turtle Education and Conservation Materials
Project Manager: Keri Ferenc Nelson
Organization: Sarasota County (Florida Government)
Grant Amount: $2,181.00
Completion Date: 2009-05-28

Summary: The purpose of this project is to design and distribute static cling decals and posters to multi-unit residential and commercial properties along the beaches of Lido, Siesta and Casey Key in Sarasota County. One specific goal of the project is to raise awareness of the impacts of interior light on our nesting beaches. In 2006, interior light sources were documented as a probable or possible cause in 47% of hatchling disorientations in Sarasota County. The proposed static cling decals will be designed for placement on windows and doors that are visible from the nesting beach and will be a tool to remind the occupant(s) to turn off unnecessary interior lights and to utilize window treatments when those lights are needed. The poster will be displayed in common areas and community bulletin boards. The decals and posters will compliment seasonal educational materials annually distributed to the properties.

Results: To date, over 300 sea turtle nesting season awareness posters and 2600 "Let the night provide the light" static cling decals have been distributed to approximately 200 multi-unit coastal properties in Sarasota County. An additional 500 static cling window decals have been requested by properties and will be distributed in the next week. The educational materials have also been made available at public outreach presentations and have been well received. Comments such as "these are awesome" and "very professionally done" have been expressed. Requests for our posters and static cling stickers have also been received from people outside of Sarasota County to be used as examples of effective outreach materials. A press release about the project was made in February of this year and the project was featured in an article in a local newspaper. This prompted calls from residents for materials and presented an opportunity to further educate the public about sea turtles. Due to a change in vendor for the static cling decals, the cost of the decals came in under budget. The extra funds were able to be put toward a re-print of the children's educational activity book "Sea Turtle Adventures II." Four thousand activity books were printed this April and so far 500 have been distributed to children at local school presentations. (Author: Keri Ferenc Nelson)