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Turtle rules-my rant

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San Diego...
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Turtle rules-my rant

There are a lot of people here not following the rules.

One pre-dawn morning my DH went up to a couple using there flashlight and explained they needed to turn it off or put it on red, they promptly turned it off. The next day I went up to a female that had a torch and her headlight on bright and she told me "NO" that the rules only applied to buildings. I couldn't convince her of otherwise but she said she would look it up....well, she was back out this dawn lighting up the area to strip the beach of any larger shells. Nothing but bad words for her.

I've been out before sunrise every morning and every day multiple people have had bright lights on. The rules are posted everywhere so there is no excuse. One morning I found where someone (or two) had dug two big holes in the shell piles and left them and 6 cigarette butts.

There also some who think taking live shells is ok.

Maybe they should make people take a test before crossing the causeway. I get so angry at stupid people.

(Not sure if this will post, my last two haven't)

Metro Orlando
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11. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

Yep, I saw the FWC site, which you'll notice is slightly different than the other sites.

Tyngsboro...
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12. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

Just my two cents. Poor wording on one website isn't an excuse to use flashlights on the beach. Poor wording is the norm nowadays. Sad, but true.

ohio
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13. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

Sanibel site article mysanibel.com/Departments/City-Manager-s-Off…

Metro Orlando
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14. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

That seems to match the FWC website. I think some folks are wrongly expanding the term "artificial light" to include flashlights, when it really only pertains to light fixtures. Even the FWC model ordinance (which is not a law or rule) only suggests that counties ban bonefires and motorized vehicles on the beach during nesting season. Note that the FWC is the state agency charged with coming up with regulations on this subject and handling wildlife related matters in general. Of course counties could add to the rules, but so far nobody's cited an actual ordinance.

Worcester MA
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15. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

Do you think flashlights are natural lights? A flashlight IS an artificial light, since its light doesn't come form the sun, moon, or stars. Remember, turtles on the beach interpret "toward the light" as "toward the gulf", so it should be clear that flashlights can confuse them. Sanibel, as a sanctuary island, does have stricter rules about many things than the rest of FL. And I'd think you'd be more concerned with not harming the turtles that with whether something is a "law" or just a "rule". It's not even a hard rule to follow- you can buy a cheap red filter to attach (tape) to your flashlight at many Sanibel stores. ( I think turtles don't see light in the red spectrum at all, or not well, so that's why the filters prevent confusing the turtles).

As for "taking the law into our own hands", I don't think that's quite what we're doing. We're not trying to collect fines or arrest anyone. We're just reminding people, with a smile, about what the rules are and why. I think someone would have to be close to the edge anyway to respond to that with violence.

Edited: 25 May 2014, 13:42
Fort Myers
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16. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

The missing element is "why" there are the "rules". I usually go to great lengths to explain that the lights, regardless of source, disorient the baby turtles, confuse them and deter them from reaching the water, where they are relatively safe. Hatchlings stranded on the beach are easy pickings for birds. I have even seen blogs about the subject that try, like that from West Wind Inn, to educate visitors and appeal to there better angels. Unfortunately, "rules" that are not explained are like speed limits: for many people they are more of a challenge than a guide.

Worcester MA
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17. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

Sanibelog, I agree that it's important to know why the rules exist. I believe female turtles who come on shore to nest can be confused by the unfiltered flashlights, as well as the baby turtles after they hatch being confused by them. I think if people know the rule exists, they'd want to follow it. Doesn't everyone love endangered sea turtle?

UK
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18. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

some places they love them too much- to eat. Incl the eggs. which I have seen video of them being harvested right after a turtle nests. it was disgusting.

I dont' care about local rules (and I can see from t he forums that many who use the northern gulf coasts do not look after their turtles as well) but I will not use outside lights during the season when I rent on t he beach and I use red filtered lights if using the beach after dark. I don't leave chairs out or holes dug.

Why is this hard for people?

Newport, Rhode...
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19. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

On the lighter side of the turtle rant: (and I sympathize and understand)

I have a flashlight with "red mode" and decided to try it out low tide around 4 am, 2 weeks ago- I have to say it was Hysterical - the crabs apparently can't see the red light either so THEY DON'T MOVE! Instead of crabs scampering towards the water, I was constantly trying not to trip over them. Birds don't move either...

Saint Louis...
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20. Re: Turtle rules-my rant

We are ready to go, after reading this and doing a little research, I bought Alldaymall® UltraFire WF-502B CREE Q5 Single - Mode 200 Lumen Red Light Hunting LED Flashlight. I checked with FWC and they said that anything with wavelengths greater than 560nm are less disruptive. They also said that there is no official regulation, just a recommendation for flashlights on the beach during this time. Either way, I will continue to inform others of not using regular flashlights on the beach. I won't talk down to them, just inform them. Some will listen, and others will, well lets just hope the noseeums eat them up. :)

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