Category Archives: Lighting


STC Awarded Two Florida Sea Turtle License Plate Grants

Funded by a portion of revenues from Florida’s Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate, the Sea Turtle Grants Program distributes funds each year to support sea turtle research, conservation and education programs that benefit Florida sea turtles. In 2024, Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) had two grants funded, Addressing Barriers to Lighting Compliance Through Targeted Outreach and Inspiring Sea Turtle Conservancy Action Ambassadors.

Addressing Barriers to Lighting Compliance Through Targeted Outreach

May be an image of lighting and twilight

Poorly managed coastal lighting is a leading threat to Florida’s sea turtles. For decades, numerous programs offered by scientists, government agencies, and non-profit organizations have been in place to reduce problematic lighting on Florida’s beaches. However, there is widespread agreement among stakeholders in Florida that more needs to be done to address two barriers to reducing problematic lighting: the inaccessibility of wildlife friendly products and the need to distribute sea turtle conservation messaging through coastal real estate agents. As it stands now, it is largely impossible for a coastal property representative to walk into a home improvement store and purchase wildlife friendly fixtures and lamps; they must be ordered through a lighting distributor that has existing relationships with manufacturers of wildlife friendly lighting. In addition, as more people move to Florida’s coast from out of state, it is crucial that new residents are aware of how to protect the natural resources they are inheriting; one way to reach this audience is by providing educational materials to real estate agents that sell beachfront properties and interact directly with this important audience. Over the past few years, Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) has begun to address lighting issues with targeted education and outreach. Through this project, STC will refine its home improvement store initiative, and provide the ability to expand STC’s outreach efforts and break down two important barriers to reducing sea turtle disorientations on important sea turtle nesting beaches.

Inspiring Sea Turtle Conservancy Action Ambassadors

May be an image of 4 people, people swimming and oceanThe Barrier Island Sanctuary Management and Education Center (BIC) has a responsibility to train the next generation of stewards of sea turtles and their critical nesting habitat. Sea Turtle Academy (STA) field study education programs have reached up to 3,300 students in both Brevard and Indian River Counties with support from the Sea Turtle Grants Program to provide bus scholarships and with funding for a Sea Turtle Educator. Most of these programs reach K-4 students. To broaden the age range of our audience, in 2019, STC also built the Sea Turtle TECH STEM Program to reach middle school and teen audiences during the summer. These programs show strong learning outcomes and pro-sea turtles attitude and conservation behavior shifts. However, the BIC still needs a teen program during the school year. This project will fund a Community Stewardship Coordinator and a college intern to support the STA education program, other sea turtle outreach programs, and the new STCAA program to reach students in the 11-18 year old age range during the school year. With a new Sea Turtle Conservancy Action Ambassador Program, based on the Community Action Projects for the Environment model produced by UF IFAS, we will train teens in the steps needed to succeed in collaborative projects that create systemic change. These projects may be citizen science, advocacy or stewardship oriented and will address threats to sea turtles and their habitats. These programs build the future stewards of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge by training the next generation in the skills needed to conserve sea turtles and their habitats.

Both projects are funded in whole by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at www.helpingseaturtles.org.

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Sea Turtle Lighting Project Specialist **POSITION FILLED**

**POSITION FILLED**

Overview and Purpose
Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) is based in Gainesville, Florida, and was founded by renowned sea turtle expert Dr. Archie Carr.  STC is the oldest and one of the most accomplished sea turtle conservation organizations in the world. STC is hiring a Lighting Project Specialist to work on our Sea Turtle Lighting Project. This person will work as part of our lighting team implementing sea turtle lighting retrofits on beachfront properties in Florida, assisting with educational workshops, and coordinating dune planting projects to help further reduce lighting impacts to nesting turtles. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has funded STC’s lighting project as part of its investment toward mitigating the impacts to sea turtles caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The project’s goal is to increase sea turtle survivorship by reducing hatchling disorientation caused by lighting. The project works with private property owners to retrofit problematic beachfront lighting to sea turtle friendly alternatives using the best available technology.

Duties and Responsibilities
The primary responsibilities of this position will be implementing sea turtle lighting retrofits and dune planting projects in the south west Florida peninsula. The position will involve collection of night-time photos and lighting measurements; contract negotiations with property owners and managers; developing exterior lighting plans; communicating with property owners and lighting distributors; and data entry, management, analysis and mapping using Access, Excel and ArcGIS Online. Travel to the south west Florida peninsula and other parts of the state over 3 to 5 day periods will be required. Duties also will include coordinating travel logistics; tracking the progression of multiple projects in various stages; and conducting lighting workshops developed for code enforcement and building professionals. The position will require flexible work hours, occasionally at night and on the weekends. The Lighting Project Specialist will be based in Gainesville and work directly under the Lighting Project Manager as part of a four-person team of lighting specialists.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree with a major in wildlife conservation, policy, management, communications or similar field.
  • Experience with contract management, grant development and/or environmental regulation preferred.
  • Organized and detail-oriented with the ability to simultaneously handle and prioritize multiple tasks.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Motivated professional with an ability to work closely with others, learn new skills and follow leadership directives.
  • Skilled with MS Office (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint)
  • and familiar with ArcGIS software.
  • Passionate about the conservation of threatened and endangered species.
  • Training will be made available to the right candidate to boost knowledge about sea turtle lighting options and to improve skills in using ArcGIS.
  • Position requires US citizenship.

Salary and Benefits

  • Starting salary will be commensurate with experience (Range $35,000 – $40,000)
  • Fully paid employee health and dental insurance.
  • Paid holidays, sick time and vacation days.
  • Retirement plan initiated after 12 months of employment.
  • Work in a flexible, yet highly motivated non-profit environment with a close-knit team of professionals committed to sea turtle conservation.

Applications will be accepted until a candidate is selected. A start date prior to the end of 2019 is preferred. Apply by submitting your cover letter and résumé to the Project Manager at Rachel@conserveturtles.org.

NBC News: STC Helps Install New Lights Along Florida Coastline to Protect Baby Sea Turtles

STC’s Executive Director David Godfrey was recently interviewed by NBC Nightly News to discuss the importance of sea turtle friendly lighting in Florida, which STC has played a major role in implementing across the state. The story aired live on September 22, 2018 and can be viewed on NBC’s website by clicking the image below: