Light violations are killing Marco Island sea turtles

A person on Marco Island posted a shocking warning online for people who do not respect sea turtles.

The person posted a photo to social media after seeing a written note, along with a dead sea turtle hatchling zipped in a bag at the lobby of a condominium.

Melanie Williams, a resident in Marco Island, said she was horrified.

“To me, this is a little scary,” Williams said. “Feels almost like a threat.”

The post demands that people pay attention to light restrictions. Light can disorient sea turtles and in turn, kill them. The photo shows hatchling tracks going to the dunes instead of the water. There is no way to prove that lighting violations caused the death of the sea turtle in the post.

City Councilwoman Charlette Roman said people care genuinely about sea turtles on Marco Island. The Marco Island City Council will talk about potential changes to their lighting restrictions during a meeting next month.

In a note Roman showed WINK News, it displayed how passionate people are about the environment. The councilwoman said people want the laws enforced, so the sea turtles last for their children and grandchildren.

“They know that it is the economic engine of this island,” Roman said. “They know our whole identity is tied to our beautiful environment and they want more done to make sure it lasts and is not just disregarded and abused.”

Marco Island said so far this season, police have investigated 45 cases of lighting restriction violations. Six of those cases were repeat offenders. Depending upon the severity of the violation, people can be reprimanded with fines as high as $5,000.

Writer:Michael Mora
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