May marks the beginning of sea turtle season

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 4:50 PM EDT|Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 6:47 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - With the beginning of May comes the start of turtle season, as islands in our area become home to nests of sea turtles.

Amber Kuehn, the director of Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head Island, said, “sea turtle season started May 1st and we have been on the beach for two mornings and we haven’t found anything yet, but it’s any day now.”

Her group drives the beach at 5 am, and she says the first nest last year was found on May 10th.

“That is the high tide line right there where the wet sand becomes dry and the sea turtle has to make her way over that line to deposit that line to deposit her eggs. The eggs have to be laid in dry sand.”

Nesting in sand like this is only the first step of the process though.

“My job is to get them from the hole to the water with a masters degree. That sounds really simple, but it is not.”

The baby loggerhead’s journey to the ocean is challenging for many reasons, but she says there’s action you can take to help limit those hurdles.

“Everything is obvious if you pay attention and picking up trash, filling in holes, using the appropriate light at night would be greatly appreciated.”

That proper lighting includes a few things, like using red lights on the beach at night and beach front properties going lights out from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Sea turtle season goes until October 31st and while there aren’t any nests just yet, we’ll let you know when that changes.

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