DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The City of Destin is stepping up its ‘Leave No Trace’ initiative by giving residents and visitors free red-filtered flashlights to use on local beaches.
Red filtered flashlights are necessary to protect marine life, especially sea turtles native to the Gulf Coast.
According to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), lights from condos and normal flashlights create disorientation to nesting and hatching sea turtles.
Ghost Crab hunting is a common activity on Gulf Coast beaches. To accommodate sea turtles, FWC says to use lights producing only long-wavelength light (560 nm or greater, which is amber, orange, or red).
The City of Destin has purchased 500 flashlights to start with more on the way.
“We came up with the idea of promoting our Leave No Trace campaign, but also promoting the right type of colored flashlight that you’re supposed to be using on the beaches at night.”Catherine Card, Public Information Manager at the City of Destin.
Where you can pick up a free flashlight:
- Destin City Hall
- The Destin Chamber of Commerce
- Destin History & Fishing Museum
- Emerald Coast Science Center
- Henderson Beach State Park
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Below is a video showing flashlight pollution during Ghost Crab hunts. This video was taken in Orange Beach, Alabama.