NewsLocal NewsLee County


People continue to break sea turtle ordinance, according to environmentalist

Sea Turtle
Posted at 8:49 PM, Aug 03, 2022

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — When the sky gets dark, so should the buildings along Fort Myers beach.

People who watch the hatchlings closely say they found baby sea turtles under buildings during turtle nesting season.

They rescued many but some they could not.

Environmentalist Rob Howell says many beachgoers may not know about the sea turtle barriers and ordinance in place, and that’s why he’s letting people know about this.

“The biggest thing everybody should know, I feel, is just to share and teach what you learn,” Howell said.

He says people are still breaking the town of Fort Myers Beach Sea Turtle Ordinance.

In May, the town gave out 68 formal warnings over one week, along with lights on at night. Howell said baby sea turtles were found under condos and houses Wednesday morning.

Indoor lights often disorient the hatchlings as they migrate toward the light.

“As soon as they get tangled up in something it could be a disorientation, it could be a stranding and it can be fatal for the turtles,” Howell said.

Property Owner Maureen Gibbons said she always tries to get rid of any lighting possible after 9 P.M.

“I am making sure none of the lights are on other than phones and ipads in the condo,” Gibbons said. “ That way there's no artificial light coming through our drapes even.”

The city’s website also wants people to remove beach furniture and fill in any holes on the beach before heading out for the day.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach is asking property owners, businesses, and beachgoers to help prevent disorientation and sea turtle deaths by following the ordinance.