Balancing Needs: Sea Turtle Conservation and People at Redcliffe Parade Foreshore
- ClientCity of Moreton Bay
- Sales PartnerRaylinc Lighting
- PhotographyIP Media and Matt Memory (Raylinc Lighting)
The Moreton Bay region is one of the few places in the world where turtles can be found so close to a major city. In 2023, the City of Moreton Bay set out to address a unique challenge at the Redcliffe Parade Foreshore in Queensland, in collaboration with Raylinc Lighting and WE-EF LIGHTING. The project aimed to enhance the waterfront public space by upgrading existing 70W Metal Halide luminaires to a more environmentally sensitive solution.
Preserving the natural habitat of sea turtles, a species known for nesting along this special coastline was pivotal here. Artificial lighting was identified as a significant threat to turtle hatchlings, prompting the need for a thoughtful, improved lighting solution.
The project posed a critical environmental consideration due to the proximity of sea turtle nesting sites. Artificial lighting had to be carefully designed to minimise disruption to the hatchlings’ natural behaviour. Additionally, the lighting solution needed to withstand the harsh coastal conditions, ensuring long-term durability and performance.
Key project considerations for this wildlife-sensitive space included:
• Strong consideration to the Sea Turtles in the area: Adhering to National Guidelines: of both Dark Sky Standards (ADSA) and adhering to the National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife
• Light only where it is needed: For human amenity – with the specific purpose of lighting pathways for safe movement
• Precise optical control: Precisely placing light where needed and controlling light distribution and cut-offs with no upward light spill, to minimise light pollution
• Safety for locals: Enabling the enjoyment of the foreshore with minimal disruption to the precious ecosystem, making use of as warm a colour temperature as possible to minimise blue light while ensuring human safety
• Smart controls: with the ability to program luminaires to switch on/off and dim at certain times, with the behaviours of both humans and wildlife at the forefront
• Energy savings: Deliver a more sustainable solution with reduced energy costs and a small carbon footprint
• Ease of installation and maintenance: Ensuring contractors can install with ease and minimising the need for maintenance to ensure long-term cost savings
• Durability and longevity: Ensure luminaires that will last the test of time and tough conditions of sea salt laden air along the coast by using exterior luminaires made from high quality, robust, corrosion-resistant materials
• Warranty: Ensuring a comprehensive warranty was of critical importance in delivering peace of mind for the installation
The primary challenge was to design a lighting solution that balanced public safety and environmental preservation, more specifically, ensuring the hatchlings’ safety while providing adequate illumination for the public.
In scientific and environmental studies, it was determined that artificial lighting affected hatchling behaviour, with 88% of individual trajectories oriented towards the light. Further, this experimental evidence demonstrated that wild turtle hatchlings are attracted to artificial light after entering the ocean, a behaviour that is likely to subject them to a greater risk of predation.
Without people in a space like a foreshore, there is simply no need for artificial light at night – moonlight is all wildlife need – particularly turtle hatchlings who are by their nature guided by the moonlight. However, many people nowadays, desire to take a walk along the beach early in the morning or late at night, so there is a balance to strike in ensuring they can complete their exercise safely.
Together with Raylinc Lighting, WE-EF LIGHTING provided 25 units of the VFL530-SE P65.BEAM PC AMBER with ‘R2C Bottom’ (Ready to Connect) street and area luminaires with 5CE+Primer Corrosion Protection system, specifically designed for coastal regions.
The chosen VFL530 luminaire in PC Amber is an ADSA Prized Wildlife certified luminaire (Australasian Dark Sky Alliance), this solution focused on minimising the impact on the environment by removing the blue light and thereby preventing disruption to turtle hatchlings.
More information on colour temperature and the significant importance of reducing the blue light that wildlife are most sensitive to can be found here.
The products were also selected for their proven durability, pre-wired factory-sealed configuration, and remote SPD, simplifying installation and maintenance processes.
Additionally, the replacement of existing 70W MH luminaires with 13W LEDs would generate an approximate 80% energy saving.
The successful implementation of the WE-EF LIGHTING solution has been well received by the City of Moreton Bay and community. The outcome not only meets public safety requirements but also demonstrates a strong commitment to environmental preservation. The council have expressed great satisfaction and have indicated their intention to continue replacing existing luminaires along other environmentally sensitive coastal pathways.
The featured images showcase the beautiful ambience of Redcliffe Parade Foreshore illuminated by WE-EF’s pathway luminaires in PC Amber. The visuals capture the harmonious blend of functional illumination and environmental consciousness. This project has been entered into the Beauty of Darkness Awards, a competition run by WE-EF LIGHTING to promote and encourage night sensitive lighting that is beautiful, functional and healthy. Learn more about the competition here.