Grant: 12-018E
Project Title: Solutions: A Guide To Sea Turtle-Friendly Lighting in Florida
Project Manager: Donne Lee Crawford
Organization: Sea Turtle Conservancy / Caribbean Conservation Corporation (Non-Profit Organization)
Grant Amount: $24,591.00
Completion Date: 2014-12-19

Summary: Artificial light pollution is a major threat to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) has been expanding areas of darkness on Florida nesting beaches by helping private property owners retrofit lights with histories of causing nest disorientations. Since the project began in mid-2010, STC has retrofitted more than 50 of the most egregious multi-family properties with shielded, long wavelength lighting fixtures that are now saving the lives of thousands of hatchlings every year and improving nesting habitat for female turtles. The retrofit program has generated considerable positive feedback from participating property owners, local sea turtle permit holders and lighting inspectors. Many property owners and condo managers located adjacent to STC?s retrofit projects are now interested in learning about the benefits of installing sea turtle-friendly lighting at their own properties. Through Solutions: A Guide To Sea Turtle-Friendly Lighting in Florida, STC will capitalize on the positive momentum generated by the lighting retrofit program by developing educational resources and a workshop-format training program that helps property owners around Florida implement lighting retrofit projects on their own. STC will create easy-to-use resources for property owners (both in print and on the web) that simplify the concept of sea turtle-friendly lighting. The materials will include an up-to-date reference catalogue of the latest turtle-friendly fixtures, along with persuasive safety and economic arguments supporting lighting retrofits. The project also will include a model workshop for property owners who want to learn, face-to-face, about lighting solutions. An educational video, based on the workshop, will be produced for broad distribution to help Florida beachfront property owners understand the benefits of retrofitting lights and access the best available technology for fixing problematic lights.

Results: As reported in the 6-month Report, the workshop was held at the Barrier Island Center on Nov. 4, 2012 and included a lighting presentation followed by a lighting field trip to visit properties STC has retrofitted with sea turtle friendly lighting. The workshop survey results indicate the workshop was a success as the average score was 94%. One attendee commented I recommend having similar opportunities on an annual basis, just so we can all stay up to date. Another said Good job of organizing a wonderful workshop. I always enjoy the guest speakers and never fail to learn new information. Thank you for your efforts complete with the lighting tour! STC worked with Two-Head Video to produce the Lighting Video, which is included with the Lighting Catalogue and shown as part of the Project LIGHTS: Lighting Innovation for Greater Home and Turtle Safety (12-038E). The Lighting Catalogue has been completed and printed, including a pocket sleeve for the Lighting Video DVD. The catalogue is being distributed by STCs lighting staff as part of their outreach program.