Turtle Patrol Report for July 22-July 28

We are getting fewer new nests during this time of the summer but now is when the hard work by our beautiful momma turtles is paying off. More and more nests are hatching and our Pre-Hatching Activity Team (PHAT) is going into overdrive. These hard-working Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol (SITP) members can usually be seen on the beach in the afternoon around low tide. They make sure the nests are protected from predators, check to see if nests are ready to boil, and sometimes create backboards and runways around nests to ensure the hatchlings head off toward the ocean and not back into the dunes. Even though their job is important and sometimes difficult, they are happy to answer any questions you might have. Please remember to stay a safe distance from the nests and dunes if you approach the PHAT helpers with your questions.

Inventories are conducted three days after a nest hatches and everyone is welcome to join us to learn more about these fascinating creatures. Education is provided and you might even get to see a real live turtle hatchling! Information about upcoming inventories can be found on Tidelines and the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol website

July 22
We had no new nests but Nests 9 and 15 boiled. Please see the image of the tracks created by the hatchlings as they headed out to sea.

July 23
Bill and Pat Greubel were the lucky walkers that saw a nest boil early this morning. They were kind enough to provide a short video clip.

Nest 74 – July 25
Melissa Andrews, Julie Minch, and Kim Neath along with Kim’s mom, Vicki Blackboard, and family friend Hannah Currie found Nest 74 between pegs 3 and 4 on North Beach. The momma had found a secure spot so the nest was left in situ.

Melissa Andrews, Julie Minch, and Kim Neath along with Kim’s mom, Vicki Blackboard, and family friend Hannah Currie

July 26
Walking with the SITP has its rewards even when we don’t find new nests and this sunrise image taken by one of our walkers is a prime example. Sadly, not everything we see on the beach is as beautiful. Other walkers found trash and a huge sand pile. While we appreciate the artistic efforts of the beachgoers, these piles of sand, deep holes, and castles, as well as trash, deeply impact the efforts of the sea turtles to safely lay nests and the ability of hatchlings to return to the sea.

When my children, now 31 and 35, were growing up on this beautiful island, they loved to build castles close to the rising tide and then try to defend the castle from the sea. We also made it a practice to bring back more cans and other trash than we brought for our picnics. It became a competition to see who could bring home the most stuff. Helping out the turtles and other wildlife doesn’t have to be a chore.

July 27
We had a number of nests boil the previous night and this morning. Gail Koornick and Marnie Ellis were able to help a hatchling out to sea. Marnie has provided a photo and Gail a video.

July 28
Nest 27, which had a very lovely walkway constructed around it, has boiled. Also, Nest 23 boiled and one confused little critter circled around and made some nice designs in the sand.

-Submitted by Anne Snelgrove for SI Turtle Patrol

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