Sea turtle-friendly lights installed in Nags Head

Published 5:18 am Monday, November 29, 2021

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Dominion Energy, together with the Town of Nags Head, Network for Endangered Sea Turtles, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and the Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance, installed the first amber LED lights at the Gulfstream Public Beach Access on November 18 to provide additional protection to sea turtle nesting areas.

Upon hatching, sea turtles naturally head toward the horizon to make it into the surf. However, artificial lights can confuse hatchlings and cause them to move the wrong direction, never making it to the sea. Nags Head has been working on solution for the endangered creatures by amending its light ordinances to allow the installation of amber-colored lights at the following other locations throughout town as part of a pilot project: Gallery Row, Abalone, Blackman, Bladen, Curlew and East Tides Drive.

“We’re excited about this project as it promotes a safer environment for these special creatures and exemplifies our commitment to environmental stewardship in the communities we serve,” said Persida Montanez with Dominion Energy.

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“Be sure to check out the lights at night and let us know what you think,” stated a Town of Nags Head Facebook post the day of the installation.

This effort is consistent with Nags Head’s commitment to a dark night sky and limited light disturbances for sea turtle hatchlings and other beach-dwelling creatures.