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One Thousand Ocean dune restoration, lighting design to help preserve sea turtle-nesting site
At One Thousand Ocean, LXR Luxury Resorts will not only be delivering world-class resort lifestyle, but also will have implemented sound environmental practices to help reduce sea turtle mortality, according to Jamie Telchin.
By: the Alder Network, inc.
This was done through a significant dune restoration as well as by complying with federal, state and city turtle-friendly lighting regulations.
In its efforts to conserve the nesting grounds of loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles that swim ashore annually between March 1 and October 31 to dig nests, lay eggs and produce hatchlings, LXR retained the consulting firm of Coastal Systems International in Coral Gables, Florida. The firm assists with permitting and environmental issues, and provides engineering solutions related to the design and construction of coastal/waterfront projects.
According to Coastal’s Jason Seuc, an environmental project manager, LXR was very aware of the impact that coastal development can have on turtle nesting grounds. “They proactively scheduled meetings with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission in order to collectively develop an appropriate, turtle-safe lighting plan. LXR invited agency representatives out to the site prior to the final inspection to ensure that the lights installed to date are compliant. And, as the project progresses, LXR will continue to work with these agencies,” he said.
Seuc pointed out that One Thousand Ocean’s healthy dune system is a good natural buffer for storms. But, in addition to providing a sand bank to help combat erosion, the dunes serve as a landward boundary for the turtles, keeping them in their own natural beach habitat. Dunes also help block artificial lights at ground level that disorient these marine creatures.
The turtle-friendly lighting for the entirety of One Thousand Ocean’s exterior and pool deck area is vital to the safety of the hatchlings. “Hatchlings instinctively navigate themselves toward the light on the horizon,” Seuc explained. “If light comes from a source other than the ocean, the turtles become confused and don’t know where to go. They will die if they remain on the beach for too long, as they need to be in water to survive.”
One Thousand Ocean’s lighting will be low in intensity, often with a special turtle-safe coating, in order to appropriately filter the light. A lot of LED technology is being used as well. In addition, the building has a 45% transmittance of light, meaning that only 45% of interior light that hits the windows and glass doors makes it way through them. This tinted glass also produces air-conditioning system energy savings.
Seuc noted that Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) volunteers arise early to walk the state’s beaches. When they locate turtle nests, they create a perimeter around the nests for protection. It is illegal to remove the stakes from an existing nest or to harass nesting sea turtles.
LXR also worked with the city because it has its own lighting ordinance. Marine Conservationist Kirt Rusenko, Ph.D., who heads up Boca Raton’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, said that Boca Raton was visionary in that it was one of the first municipalities in the state to enact a turtle lighting ordinance. That was back in 1986.
Dr. Rusenko and other employees of the program walk the beaches and mark off the nesting areas they encounter.
From his office at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, using Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology, the conservationist was able to detect eight turtle nests on the beach bordering One Thousand Ocean and the Beach Club in mid June 2009. “That area is very important to sea turtles and has had more than 50 nests during one season. With each female laying 100 eggs, the result has been approximately 5,000 hatchlings,”
After LXR submitted its turtle lighting plan to the city, Dr. Rusenko stepped in to ensure it met code. “I was quite impressed. Because LXR had hired some really good people for its One Thousand Ocean project, there were only a few minor changes that needed to be made. It was a good experience for me. They understood what to do and were easy to work with,” he said.
“At One Thousand Ocean, LXR will not only be delivering a spectacular residential
product and world-class resort lifestyle, but also will have implemented sound environmental practices to help reduce sea turtle mortality,” added Jamie Telchin, LXR’s president of development, who traveled to the state’s capital several times to assist in the planning of the lighting for the One Thousand Ocean project. “These marine creatures are in peril from more than disorientation caused by artificial lighting. They are often hit by boats or victimized by predators, pollution and pesticide contamination. With Southeast Florida being the second largest nesting site for loggerheads in the world, it’s great that nest preservation efforts and beach habitat protection are under way.”
LXR Luxury Resorts & Hotels is a dynamic collection of hotels and resorts dedicated to an entirely new definition of luxury. Among these luxury properties are some of the most treasured luxury resorts, hotels, spas, golf clubs and marinas in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
At One Thousand Ocean, one- and two-story Beach Villas harmoniously blend with Residences and Penthouses. Averaging 4,000 square feet under air, with terraces averaging 1,200 square feet, residences start from approximately $2.75 million to over $15 million.
More than half of the 52 residences are sold and completion is expected by the end of 2009. Residents will enjoy access to the numerous amenities and services of the Boca Raton Resort & Club, including the Beach Club. The sales & design center is located off site at 725 S. Ocean Boulevard. For further information about One Thousand Ocean, visit www.onethousandocean.com or call (561) 869-5000 to schedule a private showing.