Donors Fund ‘After 9 it’s Turtle Time’ Clings
Thanks to Jackie and John Fischer, the popular window clings that were originally created as part of the ‘After 9, It’s Turtle Time’ campaign by the City of Sanibel in partnership with SCCF are now being distributed on Captiva.
In 2015, The City of Sanibel received a grant from the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Sea Turtle License Plate Grant Program to educate residents and visitors to keep light from shining on the beach after dark.
The colorful square clings that stick to sliding glass doors feature a sea turtle with sunglasses who reminds people to “close curtains and blinds or turn off lights.”
As part-time residents at South Seas, the Fischers took the initiative to reach out to SCCF’s sea turtle team to get more window clings printed.
“They are a great way to tell guests about keeping lights off and also a small reminder to not walk into the sliding glass doors,” says Jackie Fischer. The printing of 5,000 new clings was sponsored by her company, Skipjack Investments.
SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan said her team has found the ongoing campaign to be very effective in educating visitors and residents alike.
The educational effort was led by the City’s Department of Natural Resources. Grant funds were used to create and produce light switch stickers, static-cling window decals, and elevator posters. These materials are distributed free of charge to beachfront resorts, property owners and managers, and rental agencies for placement in beachfront units.
Although most summertime visitors to Sanibel receive some information regarding sea turtles at “check-in,” the goal of the program is to provide additional reminders at key locations—light switches, windows and sliding glass doors, and elevators—that helping sea turtles can be as easy as flipping a switch.
“We got great feedback specifically about the window clings. People we chat with on the beach continue to tell us they learned to close their shades from them,” said Sloan.
City staff members were happy to hear about donor funding to extend the distribution of clings to Captiva. Unshielded interior lighting, even from just a single beachfront condominium, resort unit, or residence, is enough to disrupt the normal sea-finding behavior of sea turtle hatchlings.
“The campaign was focused on Sanibel, so it’s great that someone is interested in helping expand to Captiva,” said Holly Milbrandt, City of Sanibel Director of Natural Resources. “The City continues to distribute stickers and clings to Sanibel’s beachfront property owners upon request.
SCCF’s sea turtle team encourages inland residents and visitors to also be considerate of sea turtles.
“Sea turtles are facing so many lighting-related obstacles in our state, and every step taken by residents and visitors to reduce light pollution makes a very real difference in their survival,” says Sloan. “These clings are helpful reminders not just to those who live on the beachfront but anywhere on our islands.”
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. SCCF has received five grants from the program, including two grants this year.
As a reminder, it is now sea turtle nesting season through October. To request window clings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.