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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Installing sea turtle-friendly lights on a bridge

Federally endangered loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches, and the beaches on Georgia's barrier islands south of Savannah are no exception. After the young are hatched, they migrate back to the water during the night, using the moon for guidance. To keep lights on the 4,000 foot-long, cable-stayed Sidney Lanier Bridge from disorienting the migrating turtles, the Georgia Department of Transportation worked with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to install a minimum number of lights on both the bridge deck and the approach road and to use shielded low-sodium, low-wattage lights that cut glare and light scatter. Since every season there are an estimated 100-120 turtle eggs laid in each nest on the island beaches and on average approximately 64,000 of the nestlings make it to the water, the lights may protect a large number of turtles.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

Lisa Westberry, (404) 699-4433 or lisa.westberry@dot.state.ga.us

Loggerhead sea turtle
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo
Loggerhead sea turtle

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On or Near Bridges - Georgia
Updated: 12/12/2012
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