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August 5, 2005

Telephone:

772 288-5501

Fax:

772 288-5764

File:

gme05l.184.aw

Robert Eustace

1025 NE Doubloon Dr.

Stuart, FL 34996

RE:    4545 NE Ocean Blvd., Jensen Beach

Dear Property Owner or Coastal Resident:

The 2005 sea turtle nesting season began on March 1. In order to insure that nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings are not detrimentally affected by artificial lights, Martin County is working to identify and correct potentially problematic lights. In July 2005, lighting evaluations were conducted along the beach from the St. Lucie/Martin County Line south to the St. Lucie Inlet. During these evaluations the following lights on your property were identified as problematic:

   ·   Two temporary floodlights at the northwest corner of the property.

Martin County's Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance states that "Any and all light fixtures shall be designed or positioned such that they do not cause direct or indirect illumination of areas seaward of the primary dune and the source of light is not directly visible from the beach." There are a number of ways to modify lights to resolve the harmful effects they may have on nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings (see the enclosed guide). Specific recommendations for the lights listed above are as follows:

   ·   Shield and/or reposition so they do not shine on to the beach.

During nighttime lighting evaluations, interior lights from a number of facilities were observed to brightly illuminate the beach. For this reason, all coastal residents are reminded to draw their drapes at night, move potentially problematic lights away from windows or take other appropriate action to insure interior lights do not illuminate the beach (again, the enclosed guide may be helpful).

In order to protect the large number of hatchlings that are emerging from their nests, the County is requesting that all coastal residents and property owners make the necessary modifications to their lights as soon as possible. Additional lighting evaluations will be conducted during August to insure that all lights have been appropriately modified. (Note: Some or all of the lights listed above were turned off during the nighttime evaluation. Any lights you intend to leave off during the sea turtle nesting/hatching season will not need modification. However, if you think a light may have to be turned on at any time during the season, March 1 - October 31, then it should be modified to comply with the County's ordinance. Also, because lighting evaluations were made from the beach, some potentially problematic lights that were turned off at the time of the evaluation may not have been identified. You should insure that all of your lights are compliant with the County's ordinance.)

There are many methods of managing lighting on your property to allow for adequate safety and security without causing harm to sea turtles. The above recommendations are not necessarily the only means of correcting the lighting problems on your property. In addition, the County has contracted with a lighting expert (Erik Martin, Ecological Associates, Inc., Jensen Beach, 772 334-3729) who will be available to provide technical advice on how to correct your problem lights.

I wish to thank you for your cooperation in protecting Martin County's sea turtles.

Sincerely,

J. Ross Wilcox, Ph.D.

Environmental Planning Administrator

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