Grant: 05-006C
Project Title: Manasota Key Roadway Lighting Project
Project Manager: Robert Hebert
Organization: Charlotte County Environmental Services (Florida Government)
Grant Amount: $19,760.00
Completion Date: 2007-04-27

Summary: The goal of this project is to reduce potentially harmful effects, caused by roadway lighting, on marine nesting turtles and hatchlings along Manasota Key (North Beach and Gulf Boulevard), Englewood, Florida. Manasota Key roadway is illuminated with Acorn and FP&L Cobra cut-off lights. Light trespass from these lighting sources causes significant artificial illumination on the nesting beach. This has resulted in habitat loss and poses a potential threat to the sea-finding journey of marine turtles. Modifications by top shielding, raising the light source, and turning off the lights, have been applied with limited effects. Local residents and county officials are concerned for the safety of bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists resulting from limited lights when shutting off roadway lights. The area is a heavily traversed area adjacent to a public beach and business district. County officials are working to create safe pathways for public use while protecting the nesting beaches.

Results: This project is a compliment to 34 Centennial C light fixtures being installed along Beach Rd, Englewood on Manasota Key as part of a roadway improvement project. Purchasing 8 additional lights for this project was met with delays due to Utility conflicts. Installation of the original 34 light fixtures involved underground apparatus, owned by Verizon. When installation of the 34 lights began, it was discovered that it was necessary to redesign the light pole base. This caused a delay in the installation of the 34 lights while an alternate design was prepared. Purchasing the 8 lights, contracted under this grant, was delayed as the base technicality was corrected. In December of 2006, the final phase of the project was complete. The 8 additional lights have been installed and are fully operational. (Author: Missy Christie)