Seabrook Island is home to a variety of wildlife, some of which are endangered and others that can be dangerous. There are four types of creatures that deserve special attention. On the beach, we are home to turtles, dolphins, and birds. In the freshwater ponds and wetlands, we have alligators. Our respectful vigilance is needed in order to preserve their habitats.
Maintaining a healthy distance from wildlife is needed both for our safety and protection as well as theirs. The Town Code for Seabrook Island prohibits harassment of marine life and wildlife. To read the ordinance, click here.
Seabrook Island is home to a healthy population of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a species once protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Generally, alligators are not a threat to people and their pets. However, the Seabrook Island Property Owners’ Association (SIPOA) has developed a policy for determining whether or not an alligator qualifies as a “nuisance alligator” and therefore warrants removal under the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Nuisance Alligator Program. Removal occurs relatively infrequently. Click here to learn what to do if you have a concern or complaint about an alligator.
To be safe around alligators, remember:
- Do not feed alligators. Feeding alligators reduces their fear of humans.
- Keep your distance. Alligators can run faster than you.
- Do not attempt to move alligators out of the road.
- It is illegal to harass, throw things at or harm alligators in any way.
- Do not disturb nests or small alligators. Female alligators are very protective.
- Keep your pets and children away from alligators.
- Do not corner, trap or hunt alligators.
- Be alert around the shore of freshwater ponds or wetlands.
- If you have a concern about an alligator, call the Security Gate on 843-768-6641.
(Photo credit: nas.er.usgs.gov)