The W Fort Lauderdale had a little problem — turtles kept crossing the road in front of their hotel. To get to the other side. And getting hit by cars on the way.
The issue was the hotel lights. Apparently, when choosing between their current side of the road and the certain death of crossing the street, turtles have a habit of “going towards the light.” What this says about the psychological situation of turtles is beyond our realm of expertise, but we do know what The W did to stop turtles from killing themselves just to visit their hotel.
We want to take a moment to add that the internationally protected loggerhead sea turtles (once aggressively hunted for their meat, eggs, fat and shells) are actually an attraction of this Florida area. It’s only a short drive from Fort Lauderdale to Dania Beach where you can walk the sands at sunset and watch the loggerheads (pictured) in action — and even take a look at their nests, a great activity for couples and families. Remember the turtles in “Finding Nemo”? Those were loggerheads. As Crush said to Marlin: “Oh, it’s awesome, Jellyman. The little dudes are just eggs, we leave ‘em on a beach to hatch, and then, coo-coo-cachoo, they find their way back to the big ol’ blue.” Well, many turtles think it’s a good idea to cross the street to make a nest for their eggs. And if they do happen to make it, and those eggs hatch? Baby turtle road-carnage.
I know, it’s not nice to think about.
Anyway, according to Tonic.com, The W Hotel, “with the blessings of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission,” installed “long wavelength lighting” pointed toward the ground. “The hotel is able to keep everything bright enough for evening swims and dinner outdoors without luring in one gatecrashing turtle.”
The hotel also features energy efficient LED lighting, carpets made with sustainable materials, and even bamboo flooring in some rooms. Not too shabby. We commend W for their creativity and for helping save the turtles!