Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island
Proposed changes to Jekyll Island's Beach Lighting Ordinance could adversely affect sea turtle nesting habitat and hatchling survival.    
THE PROBLEM:  
The Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) has proposed a series of controversial amendments to Jekyll's Beach Lighting Ordinance, which the JIA contends would simplify the ordinance, improve compliance by the island's beachfront hotels, and make enforcement of the ordinance easier. Although the JIA claims the amendments would not weaken the lighting ordinance, sea turtle experts from the Georgia DNR, in a letter to the JIA say the proposed changes would allow more light to be cast on the beach, discouraging sea turtle nesting and reducing the survival rate for hatchlings.  
 
To read a Brunswick News article on this controversy, click here.
 
ACTION NEEDED:
IPJI is supporting the DNR's position on this important issue and is asking its members to do the same. To help out, simply copy the letter below and paste it into the email message provided, which includes the email addresses of the following DNR and JIA representatives involved in the beach lighting controversy: Mark Dodd, Director of the DNR's Sea Turtle Conservation Program, Jon Ambrose, Chief of the DNR's Wildlife Resources Division; Rusty Garrison, Director of the DNR's Wildlife Resources Division; Jones Hooks, JIA Executive Director; Ben Carswell, JIA Director of Conservation; and Robert Krueger, Chairman of the JIA Board's Conservation Committee.  
 
Feel free to add to or otherwise amend IPJI's letter as you see fit.
 
Public support for the DNR's main objections to the changes in Jekyll's Beach Lighting Ordinance is vital, as it will strengthen the DNR's hand in the upcoming negotiations with the JIA and its hotel partners regarding the protection of sea turtle nesting habitat from light pollution emanating from beachfront structures.

Thank you for joining the effort to keep Jekyll Island State Park's Beach Lighting Ordinance intact!
 
David and Mindy Egan, Co-Directors
Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island State Park
INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Copy and paste IPJI's prepared statement
2. Subject Line: Jekyll Island Beach Lighting Ordinance
3. Provide your name and address.
Click here for pop up email with DNR and JIA addresses inserted.

NOTE: If the email addresses do not appear for you, please copy and paste them in.
Gentlemen,

I am writing to you to express my support for the DNR's comments regarding the negative effects that many of the changes proposed by the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) in the state park's Beach Lighting Ordinance could have on sea turtle nesting habitat and hatchling survival.
 
I know that the JIA has said the proposed changes would not weaken the lighting ordinance, but I think a number of the amendments would do just that. In that regard, I am particularly concerned about the provisions that 1) change the definition of "beach" in a way that would remove some sea turtle nesting areas from the habitat governed by the ordinance; 2) reduce the restrictions on light emanating from hotel room balconies; 3) allow unshielded lights to be in hotel rooms; and 4) exempt hotel parking lots and underwater pool lights from the ordinance.
 
I understand that representatives from the DNR and JIA will meet in coming weeks to discuss the concerns triggered by the proposed changes in the Beach Lighting Ordinance. When you meet, I hope the DNR will hold fast to the recommendations its representatives have made so that the ordinance is not amended in a way that would allow more artificial light to illuminate Jekyll's beach and degrade sea turtle nesting habitat. I realize that the JIA might prefer an ordinance that is convenient for its hotel partners and for the JIA to enforce, but easing restrictions on beach lighting is an unacceptable way to achieve that end.
  
I am very grateful for the DNR staff's commitment to protecting sea turtles and for the wonderful work done on Jekyll Island by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. I hope sea turtle advocates at both the DNR and JIA can work things out so that Jekyll Island State Park's Beach Lighting Ordinance can serve its intended purpose.
  
Sincerely,

If you would like to have more information about the Beach Lighting Ordinance, please feel free to contact us at degan1@bellsouth.net or phone 912-635-2167 home/ 912-577-4655 cell.

Thank you for helping IPJI conserve sea turtle nesting habitat on Jekyll Island !
 
David and Mindy Egan, Co-Directors
Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island State Park
Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island | 912-635-2167 home, 912-577-4655 cell | degan1@bellsouth.net | http://www.savejekyllisland.org
308 Old Plantation Rd.
Jekyll Island, GA 31527