Sign Lights Out for Rush Limbaugh Sea Turtle Pledge
Rush Limbaugh Seriously Considering Founding Turtle Preservation Society
(Disclaimer: these quotes may be slightly out of context, a practice Limbaugh approves of but rarely warns listeners of when practiced on his show)
Radio star Rush Limbaugh is worried about sea turtles and is doing something about it. He and his neighbors in Florida know that just one light can kill thousands of sea turtles. "Giant sea turtles lumber out of the ocean, they trundle up to the beach, they dig the nest, they lay the eggs, and they trundle back to the ocean", says Limbaugh. "And then some weeks later the hatchlings hatch and they burrow up out of the sand and they are supposed to go to the ocean." But, says Limbaugh, "lights on the beach distract the hatchlings and cause them not to go to the ocean but inland. So, those of us who live on the beach have to turn the lights off."
During the sea turtle nesting season female sea turtles crawl on to beachs around the world to lay eggs. When they are finished they used light reflected off of the water to find their way back to the ocean. When the baby sea turtles emerge from the nest about 60 days later they also use the reflected light to find their way to the ocean for the first time.
As we develop coastal communities, building beach houses, shopping centers and high rise hotels and apartment buildings, we are splashing more light on to these sea turtle nesting beaches. Unfortunately these lights are coming from the wrong direction and can cause sea turtles to follow the wrong light source, becoming disorientated, and end up on a roadway, in a pool, an easy snack for a racoon or cat, or simply get lost and bake in the morning sun.
For this reason, many coastal communities have "lights out" regulations during sea turtle nesting season. These regulations often require home and business owners to take modest steps to install turtle-friendly lights, draw curtains, or turn lights out after dark.
One light in the wrong place can dissorient nesting female sea turtles and hundreds or thousands of their hatchlings.
Rush even says he is "seriously considering founding the forthcoming Turtle Preservation Society of Palm Beach".
Tips for keeping light off the beach
- Reposition or shield necessary lights so they are not visible from the beach.
- Put lights on a timer or motion sensor.
- Replace current fixtures with "turtle-friendly" fixtures.
- Reduce wattage of outdoor lighting.
- Turn off lights in rooms that are not being used.
- Relocate movable lights away from windows.
- Keep curtains or blinds closed after 9 p.m.
- Apply window tinting.