Sea turtle nesting season began on Saturday, May 1, and the Town is reminding residents and visitors to do their part to help protect adult and hatchling sea turtles as they nest on our beaches.
During nesting season, which runs through Oct. 31, beach residents and beach visitors should do the following:
- Turn off outside lights, close curtains and avoid using flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach.
- Remove obstacles such as sandcastles or sand pits that may interfere with nesting sea turtles or make it too difficult for hatchlings to make their way to the shoreline.
- Keep the beach clean. Eliminate trash items that may entangle baby hatchlings and adult turtles.
- Do not approach or harass adult or baby turtles.
- If residents spot turtle tracks or a possible nest, and it does not appear to be protected by stakes or ribbon, call 1-888-404-3922.
- For residents who own or live in beachside properties, make sure lighting is turtle-friendly. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)’s sea turtle lighting guidelines can be found at bit.ly/sea-turtle-lighting.
Loggerheads are the most common sea turtle to nest in Pinellas County, and females generally nest from early May through August. The eggs in each nest typically hatch 50 to 60 days after they are laid.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium monitors the beaches from Clearwater Beach through Treasure Island, and Sea Turtle Trackers monitors the beaches of St. Pete Beach, Shell Key and Outback.
Staff members conduct early-morning patrols to locate new nesting sites. Residents should not pick up hatchlings heading toward the water, shine lights or use photo equipment with a flash. Hatchlings use starlight and moonlight reflecting off the water to find their way to the ocean, and if they become misled by artificial light, they can become disoriented and die.
Besides checking the beaches every morning for signs of new nests, staff mark the nests and tape them off to avoid human disturbance. As endangered and threatened species, Kemp’s Ridley and Loggerhead turtles are protected under state and federal law, and disturbing them, their nests or even a dead turtle is illegal.
To report the disturbance of a sea turtle nest, or report the sightings of turtles that are dead, lost, stranded or wandering in the street, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement at 1-888-404-3922 or dial *FWC from a cell phone. Residents can also report these sightings on the FWC website at bit.ly/turtle-report.
Redington Beach has a sea turtle ordinance. The entire ordinance can be read by clicking this link: REDINGTON BEACH SEA TURTLE ORDINANCE
At this time, golf carts can NOT be driven on streets in the Town of Redington Beach.
Low-speed vehicles ARE allowed, provided they are driven by a licensed driver.
Let’s talk about the difference between golf carts and low-speed vehicles. Golf carts are small vehicles
designed originally to carry two golfers and their golf clubs around a golf course or on desert trails with less
effort than walking. A golf cart must be equipped with efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a
rearview mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear. A golf cart may be operated
only upon a city street that has been designated by a city for use by golf carts. Upon a determination
that golf carts may be safely operated on a designated road or street, the city shall post appropriate signs to
indicate that such operation is allowed. A golf cart may be operated only during the hours between sunrise and sunset, unless the city has determined that a golf cart may be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise and the golf cart is equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield. The Town of Redington Beach has not designated any streets for use by golf carts.
A low-speed vehicle or mini truck may be operated only on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. A low-speed vehicle must be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and vehicle identification numbers. A low-speed vehicle or mini truck must be registered, insured and titled. Any person operating a low-speed vehicle or mini truck must have in his or her possession a valid driver license.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reported that several vehicles were burglarized and a vehicle was stolen from Redington Beach recently. The Sheriff’s office would like to remind our residents of a few methods to reduce or eliminate this from happening:
- Never leave the keys in your vehicle.
- Always lock the doors, even when you are away from the vehicle for a short time.
- Remove items (purses, tapes, CD’s, books, cash, etc.) from the vehicle when possible. If you can’t take them out, put them in a place that is out of view (in the trunk or tool box)
- Remove “pull-out” style stereos and/or removable faceplates of stereos. (if equipped)
- Park in lighted areas.
- Park in garages or on driveways or near your house or apartment so that the vehicle can be viewed periodically.
Other vehicle security considerations:
- Steering wheel lock bar or steering column locking cover.
- “Engine kill” switch.
- Car alarm.
RESIDENTS CAN TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO DETER COYOTE PRESENCE
Coyotes are amazingly adaptable and can survive in nearly any habitat. They arrived in the 1970s and have found a home in parks and preserves and in wooded areas that surround many residential areas.
“As long as residents keep wildlife wild and do not provide easy meals to them, they should not pose a threat to people,” said Dr. Welch Agnew, director of Pinellas County Animal Services. “The problem comes in when people start leaving food outside their homes, or leave trash available, or allow their cats and dogs to roam the neighborhood. Then, we are providing easy meals to wild coyotes, inviting them into our areas and encouraging them to lose their natural fear of humans.”
Residents are reminded to follow simple precautions to prevent the threat of coyotes:
• Never leave pet food or trash outside where it will attract wildlife.
• Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings. This reduces cover for coyotes and their prey, such as rodents and other small animals.
• Protect children. Although rare, coyotes have been known to seriously injure children. Do not leave young children unattended, even in a backyard.
· Protect pets and livestock. These are favorite prey for coyotes. Keep pets indoors, especially at night. When not indoors, keep dogs and cats leashed at all times. There is a Redington Beach Ordinance that prohibits dogs or cats from roaming freely.
• Avoid walking dogs during dawn or dusk hours, which are coyotes’ normal feeding times. Avoid using a retractable leash. Coyotes will notice a dog walked frequently on an extended leash. The coyote will come back, grab the dog, and leave the owner holding an empty leash. When walking a pet, carry a stick, whistle or air horn.
· Use negative reinforcement. Make sure the coyotes know that they are not welcome. Make loud noises, throw rocks in their direction or spray with a garden hose.
If you are experiencing conflicts with coyotes, contact your local FWC Regional Office in the Southwest Region at 863-648-3200.
Follow @MyFWC on Facebook for more wildlife information.
Did you know that trash removal is NOT included in your taxes or your utility bill? Recently there have been several reports of the Town’s trash removal service “skipping” homes that have been receiving regular trash removal for many years. This is most likely due to non-payment. Residents must contact the Town’s trash removal company, Waste Connections, and establish an account to receive trash removal. The fee for this service is billed directly to residents. The Town is asking each resident to ensure that they are receiving a monthly bill from Waste Connections. If not, please call them at 727-572-6800 and establish an account to resume service.
County extends State of Local Emergency through Nov. 6
Oct. 30, 2020
Pinellas County has extended its State of Local Emergency for COVID-19 through Nov. 6. The extension was issued by County Administrator Barry A. Burton by delegated authority from the Board of County Commissioners.
The extension keeps in effect a County ordinance requiring face coverings within public places and restaurants and bars to serve only patrons who are seated. Public health officials continue to closely monitor the 7-day rolling averages for new COVID-19 cases, percentage of positive tests, hospitalizations and hospital bed capacity.
The emergency declaration must be extended every seven days to remain in effect.
- Face coverings still required in indoor public places
- Bar and restaurant customers must be seated to be served
A Pinellas County ordinance put in place to facilitate safe reopenings while slowing the spread of COVID-19 remains in effect Monday, following the announcement of Phase 3 of the state’s Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step phased plan Friday.
Executive Order 20-244, signed Friday by Governor DeSantis, does not impact the local ordinance Pinellas County adopted, including the face covering requirement for indoor facilities and that customers be seated to be served at a bar or restaurant.
While the governor’s order suspends the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforced upon individuals, it does not restrict counties and municipalities from enforcing rules on businesses.
The countywide ordinance 20-14 took effect in June and remains in effect through the duration of Pinellas County’s State of Local Emergency.
The ordinance defines a face covering as a material that covers the nose and mouth and remains affixed or a face shield. A cloth face covering, or mask, may be factory-made or sewn by hand and can be improvised from clothing or other household fabric items.
- Citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places within Pinellas County, although the Board provided several exceptions. Among them:
- The County ordinance mandate cannot conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- The ordinance does not apply if a person is strictly adhering to social distancing and there are 10 or fewer people in the location who are also maintaining social distancing.
- It does not apply to governmental entities such as schools, courthouses or city halls, although those entities are encouraged to develop procedures to protect employees and the public.
- If a person is under age 18, that person’s use of a face covering to comply with the ordinance is left to the discretion of that person’s parent, guardian or an accompanying adult.
- Religious rituals such as various forms of singing are permitted under the ordinance provided that social distancing is strictly maintained.
- The ordinance does not prohibit exercising while social distancing, such as in a gym, without a face covering.
- Retail employees must wear face coverings unless working in an area of the business that is not open to the customers and has social distancing measures in place.
Bars and Restaurants
Ordinance 20-14, passed by the Board of County Commissioners in June, has specific requirements for restaurants and bars that continue to be in effect in conjunction with the state’s limitations. The ordinance will remain in effect until the Board of County Commissioners repeals it or allows the county’s State of Local Emergency declaration to expire.
- Patrons must be seated to be served drinks for on-site consumption.
- Patrons must wear a face covering except when seated and consuming food or a drink and distanced six feet from other parties.
- Employees must wear a face covering whether directly or indirectly preparing food or drinks, whether having customer contact or not, and whether indoors or outdoors.
- Tables/bar stools must be spaced so that individuals and their companion(s) are separated six feet from others. Tables are limited to 10 guests.
- Standing areas are not allowed. Patrons waiting to be seated must remain distanced in groups of no more than 10 people.
- Bars and restaurants must establish rules that encourage social distancing, hand-washing and other protective measures based on CDC guidance.
- Businesses are reminded that the ordinance does not affect their obligations under federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
While the governor’s executive order Friday did not address public meetings, Executive Order 20-69, which authorized virtual meetings, is currently set to expire at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1.
To read County ordinances and state orders, and access a wide array of COVID-19 information, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.
Pinellas County has created a new website which provides comprehensive information about the County’s COVID response, plus recommendations for citizens, businesses, frequently asked questions, stay-home tips, health information and links to a variety of assistance.
“AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF REDINGTON BEACH, FLORIDA, AMENDING CHAPTER 21, TRAFFIC, VEHICLES AND PARKING, ARTICLE II.- STOPPING, STANDING AND PARKING, DIVISION 1.- GENERALLY, SECTION 33.- RESIDENTS-ONLY PARKING AREAS, OF THE TOWN CODE; CREATING A NEW PARKING AREA, CORRECTING SCRIVERNER’S ERRORS; PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES; AND PROVIDING FOR CODIFICATION, SEVERABILITY, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF REDINGTON BEACH, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE TOWN CODE OF ORDINANCES BY AMENDING CHAPTER 21 – TRAFFIC, VEHICLES AND PARKING, ARTICLE II. – STOPPING, STANDING AND PARKING, DIVISION 1 – GENERALLY, SECTION 21-21. STOPPING, STANDING, OR PARKING PROHIBITED IN CERTAIN PLACES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Let’s talk about the difference between golf carts and low-speed vehicles. (more…)