February 6, 2023

The Editor Speaks: Why don’t people listen?

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Have you noticed with just simple requests some people don’t listen? They hear but it falls on deaf ears.

The latest example of this is the continual requests from the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE) to install turtle-friendly lighting on beachfront property.

Simple request and costs very little.

Yet every year we get the same story:

“Endangered baby green turtles were found dead on Cayman Islands highways”.

Just last week DOE reported 60 baby green turtles were once again found dead on the West Bay Road.

The hatchlings were disoriented by lights near their nests in the West Bay cemetery area.

DoE said this is only one of many similar incidents during this summer’s nesting season.

When the baby turtles hatch from their nests at night they head for the brightest light they can see. That should be the moon and stars reflecting off the ocean’s surface. If that is not the brightest light they go towards the brighter artificial lights on land. This usually results in them being injured or killed.

The DOE have said, “Turtle-friendly lighting is needed to protect our sea turtle nesting populations. Turtle-friendly lighting does not mean that beachfront properties must be dark. Lights can be directed to illuminate only areas of the property that are used by residents instead of shining toward the sky and beach. Turtle hatchlings are less attracted to certain wavelengths of light, such as amber, so selected light fixtures or light bulbs can also be replaced.”

Amber bulbs. Cheap and easy to install. And there is evidence turtle friendly lighting will lessen your fuel bill. That should be some incentive!

In parts of the USA, like Florida, turtle friendly lighting is mandatory. Why not here?

With all the new construction going on and in the planning stages along our ocean front this has to be law!

With so much legislation being mooted that has never been necessary in the past yet something that is destroying not only life but part of the Cayman Islands heritage not even being considered, it is extraordinary.

If people don’t listen and have deaf ears they need a hearing aid.

A hearing in front of a judge!

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