A recent article by the Marco Eagle newspaper reported that the Marco Island Code Enforcement Magistrate recently issued $1,000 fines to three condominium associations for violating sea turtle lighting restrictions. For one of the properties, it was the second such violation in consecutive months.
The violations involved lighting in the pool areas that reflect on the oceanfront buildings. These lights could potentially disorient turtle hatchlings, causing them to move away from the shore.
The newspaper report also noted that the city’s code enforcement office had recently issued $1,300 in fines against six condominium associations for violating sea turtle lighting restrictions. To date, the municipality has issued 45 notices of violation during the 2019 sea turtle season, 25 more than in 2018.
The article also states that a local condominium resident recently posted in a Facebook group that she found a dead sea turtle hatchling inside of a Ziploc-type plastic bag in her building’s lobby accompanied by a note reading: “This is what you get when you don’t close the blinds. They crawl towards the light.”