Southern bald eagles, sea turtles, and other protected animal and plant species are afforded habitat protection through several Lee County land development regulations. In 1986, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners adopted Southern bald eagle nest guidelines and created an Eagle Technical Advisory Committee (ETAC). The Division of Environmental Sciences and ETAC members monitor bald eagle nests throughout Lee County and provide technical advice to landowners on bald eagle biological requirements.
From May 1st through October 31st, sea turtles nest on the Gulf of Mexico beaches in Lee County. To minimize disruption of both adult sea turtle nesting activities and the return of sea turtle hatchlings to the Gulf, regulations exist to reduce lighting along the beach (Land Development Code Chapter 14).
Other protected animals include species such as the gopher tortoise, wood stork, fox squirrel and eastern indigo snake. Protected plants include species such as the joewood, beautiful paw-paw, Curtis milkweed and Florida coontie. A complete list of protected animal and plant species is located under Appendix H of the Lee County Land Development County, as well as here.
A survey for protected animal and plant species is required for most new development projects; A species management plan is required if protected species occur on a development site. For more information regarding bald eagles, sea turtles and other protected species, contact the an Environmental Science Staff person.