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LUMA swaps streetlights across Puerto Rico to protect marine life

LUMA, in collaboration with turtle conservation organizations, is replacing traditional white streetlights with red ones to protect marine life. The change aims to reduce the disorientation of sea turtles and other endangered species caused by artificial lighting.

The initiative is part of the Community Street Lighting Initiative, supported financially by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

“We have installed streetlights that comply with all applicable laws and contribute to the conservation of endangered species. This initiative brings significant improvements to public safety and energy efficiency in communities across Puerto Rico,” said Heriberto González-Méndez, director of LUMA’s Community Street Lighting Initiative.

LUMA has already updated hundreds of streetlights across the island, particularly in areas known for sea turtle nesting, aiming to create a safer environment for these species’ reproduction and survival.

“Certainly, we have seen a change across the island. Obviously, it takes time because we must raise awareness. Many people don’t know exactly why it’s being done. Light pollution is very harmful to turtles because it confuses them and leads them away from the coast,” said Karen Schneck-Malaret, education coordinator for the 7 Quillas conservation group.

Safer streetlights have already been installed in Aguada, Aguadilla, Arecibo, Barceloneta, Cabo Rojo, Camuy, Cataño, Ceiba, Dorado, Guánica, Guayama, Hatillo, Isabela, Juana Díaz, Lajas, Loíza, Luquillo, Manatí, Maunabo, Mayagüez, Río Grande, San Juan, Toa Baja, Vieques and Yabucoa.

LUMA said its efforts, in partnership with conservation groups, reflect its dedication to environmental preservation and marine biodiversity protection. The utility plans to continue working with these groups to support marine life conservation in Puerto Rico.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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