Turtle Patrol Report May 19-27

This week has been filled with false crawls, storms, beautiful sunrises, and some very high tides. We also have 2 new nests, bringing our total to 3 for the 2023 season.

May 19, 2023
One of the wonderful things about our beach is the never-ending variation we see. The beach seems to change every day we go out. Unfortunately, with the high tides we’ve had with the new moon, storms, and erosion in places, the bird nesting area on North beach was completely washed over. A total of 5 bird signs have been retrieved, one of which was way down by Boardwalk 5. The tides came perilously close to Nest 1 that was laid on Mother’s Day but due to the foresight of Valerie and Mark Doane, it had been relocated to a spot that was high enough to prevent it from being washed over.

The wildlife we have on Seabrook Island is truly a treasure and everyone is aware of the ubiquitous presence of alligators but we now have photographic evidence of a croc nesting in the wrack on the beach here.

May 20, 2023
The mommas visited us during the night but didn’t find any suitable nesting sites. Three obvious false crawls were found. The first false crawl was found close to boardwalk 6. The determined turtle walked along the rocks before returning to the sea. This false crawl was soon lost to the sea and would have been missed if the walkers had gone out any later. Two more false crawls were found on the beach in front of Camp Saint Christopher.

May 21, 2023
No new nests but the crew walking between Boardwalk 6 and Boardwalk 1 had an interesting morning. A momma came in and walked along the rocks just north of Boardwalk 6 before returning to the water. This was the first false crawl of the day. When the walkers returned along the route, they found another in-and-out crawl at the tide line that wasn’t there when they made their first pass. Maybe the same momma was playing a game with our walkers?

Nest #2 – May 22, 2023
Joleen Ardaiolo and Tobie McMahon were the lucky walkers to find the crawl on the beach in front of Camp Saint Christopher just short of the kayak shed. Pictured are walkers Joleen and Tobie with JoAnne Lewis who assisted with the nest. The nest was left in situ.

We also had 3 obvious false crawls. One momma tried hard to find a spot but the rocks were in the way and the other two were halfhearted, in and out, crawls near the incoming tide.

May 23, 2023
Quiet morning with fast incoming tides. Good to know that nests 1 and 2 are secure and safe above the high tide line.

May 24, 2023
It was a gloriously cool morning, and the tide was low enough that all areas of the beach were easily accessed. Two turtle mommas must have wanted to enjoy the night air as we had two crawls, but both were just in and out with nothing to show for their trouble.

May 25, 2023
Another morning with no new crawls but the Camp Saint Christopher beach did have some excitement. The walkers found 29 dug up egg shells in the dunes about south of the dead trees. Judy Morr and I checked out the damage and determined it was the remains of an old nest that had hatched (or boiled) and been inventoried a year or more ago. While it was obvious raccoons were the culprits, we have no idea what attracted them to this unfruitful location.

Nest #3 –May 26, 2023
Every walker remembers their first nest but lucky first year walkers Brandy Embrey, Mollie Korski, Laura Wendling, David Williams and Lori Chait actually saw the momma laying that first nest. The momma was finishing up her nest when the walkers arrived. After carefully covering her eggs, she began the long crawl back to the ocean, happily followed by the walkers, including veterans Sandy MacCoss and Jane Magioncalda.

This large and experienced Turtle left 146 eggs. Nest # 3 was relocated to higher ground south of Boardwalk 2. Videos of the turtle’s return to the sea are included below so we can all experience some of this joyful event.

Not much else to report other than a pelican meeting with the addition of a shrimp boat near the point of Camp Saint Christopher.

May 27, 2023
We had high hopes that the rain would bring the momma turtles on shore to nest but the efforts of our intrepid turtlers were for naught. We did have one potential crawl but after being checked out by a few of our experienced crew it became apparent the disturbance was not created by a turtle. Special thanks to Sandy MacCoss and Nancy Chomel who braved the cold and rain with me to check out the disturbance and to the walking crews that braved the weather. The photo of The Gores and the Millers shows how cheerful we remain under adverse circumstances and the pelican photo, taken by Marnie Ellis with J-Anna Smith, shows the weather really was for the birds! No shrimp boat in this morning’s picture.

-Submitted by Anne Snelgrove, Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol

(Image credits: Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol)

SIAG June Artist of the Month, Danielle Patterson

Danielle Patterson was born and raised in the East Bay Area of California surrounded by creativity from a young age. Her mother and father were both artistic, as were her grandparents. Art was a part of everyday life, and all forms of creativity were encouraged throughout her upbringing.

As a watercolorist, her paintings capture the beauty of the low country and her family’s cherished memories. Her latest portraits of her daughters, inspired by Gustav Klimt, aim to capture the sheer joy her children bring into her life.

After graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art with an emphasis on painting and photography, Danielle began her professional career managing the gallery of National Geographic Photographer, Frans Lanting.

Later, after moving to Fort Mill, SC, she struggled to find a job in the art field. Her creativity did not go unnoticed. She used her creativity to manage the marketing for a Pediatric & Orthodontic practice. Danielle and her husband, Warren Patterson, built a home on Seabrook Island and fell in love with the natural beauty and the strong artist community.

Danielle joined the Seabrook Island Artist Guild shortly after moving to Seabrook and enjoys attending artist demonstrations offered by SIAG. She has attended workshops led by Laurie Meyer and Dwight Rose as well. Danielle’s passion for creativity also extends to her Financial Services company. There she puts her marketing and development skills to work building her business and serving her clients.

When Danielle is not working, she loves spending time with her family, working out with her fit-camp group, painting, gardening, and cooking. She is grateful for the inspiration and encouragement the artist guild offers and hopes to become even more involved in the years to come.

Please join Danielle for the Artist of the Month reception Monday, June 5 at The Lake House from 4:30-6:00 pm.

-Submitted by Bonnie Younginer, Seabrook Island Artist Guild

(Image credit: Danielle Patterson)

Thank you!

Thank you Seabrookers and sponsors for helping to make the Fourth Annual Cornhole Clash a success. With your help SIV was able to raise $15,000.

We wish to thank the following people whose donations we received after the event:

McDaniel Family Foundation
The Salty Dog Cafe
Christopher & Cookie Byczek
Sam & Sarajane Dolinsky
Richard & Marjorie Fleming
Mark & Joyce Markwell
Greg & Linda Saver
Robert & Terry Cherry
Victor & Carol Augusta
Stan & Carol Ullner
Ralph & Nancy Finno

Mark your calendars now for next year’s Cornhole Clash, April 20, 2024.
Our next event will be Mahjong Day, October 19, 2023.

-Submitted by Sue Coomer

Turtle Patrol Report May 14-20

The glorious Seabrook Island summer will soon be here and the 2023 Turtle Patrol Season is off to an auspicious start. We hope that our new residents and visitors have the opportunity to find out more about the amazing Loggerhead turtles that use our beaches for their nesting grounds. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have if you see our patrollers out early in the morning in their brightly colored red shirts.

You don’t need to leave your home at the crack of dawn to battle high tides, gnats and sand in your shoes to help the turtles. Everyone, even the youngest child, can help the turtles by knocking down sand castles, filling in holes and removing your chairs and other paraphernalia when you leave the beach. Also, if you are on the beaches at night, please use red filters on your flashlights to keep from disturbing the nesting turtles.

Nest #1 – May 14, 2023
The timing of the arrival of our first nest on Mother’s Day couldn’t have been more appropriate. Walkers Nettie, Neva, Rachel and Marshall Carter along with Valerie and Mark Doane were thrilled to spot the crawl between Boardwalks 5 and 6. Click here for the complete Tidelines article.

We didn’t have any other nests this week but don’t despair. Last year we had the second greatest number of nests in Seabrook Island recorded history and our second nest didn’t arrive until four days after our first. Even when we don’t find nests, turtle patrol has other rewards. We experience amazing sunrises and the occasional frolicking deer in the surf.

-Submitted by Anne Snelgrove

Other Seabrook Island Groups

One of the things that makes Seabrook Island so special is the breadth of interests and talents shared by its residents. Fortunately, we have a wide variety of avenues to nurture those interests and talents. Depending on what is important to you and how you like to spend your time, you might want to check out these other groups.

Seabrook Island 9 Ball League

The Seabrook Island 9 Ball League is a 9 Ball co-ed pool league. It is a box structure league with 6 players per box. You have 6 weeks to play your five, 9 Ball matches. Play is either at The Lake House table or at the homes of players with tables, and matches are scheduled based on mutual availability. Most often 3 players get together and knock out 2 matches at a time, so essentially you need to play 3 times in 6 weeks. At the end of each 6 week league, the top two players in each box are promoted to the higher box, and the bottom 2 relegated. There are currently 6 boxes with play at all levels. Championship level play is not required. What is required is a commitment to get your 5 matches played in a 6 week period.

Contact: Timothy Ely at timothy.j.ely@gmail.com

The Seabrooker

The Seabrooker is the town’s independent newspaper. It is published monthly and 2023 marks its twenty-sixth year of continued service to Seabrook Island. The current  publisher, Teri Lash, is the daughter of Fred Bernstein who along with Red Ballantine, started the paper. The editor and the monthly contributors are all volunteers.  The Seabrooker welcomes articles from all of our readers which can be submitted to: theseabrooker@yahoo.com

Contact: Michael Morris (editor) at  TheSeabrooker@yahoo.com, 843-408-3707.

Website: https://www.townofseabrookisland.org/the-seabrooker.html

Tidelines Editors

(Image credits: istock, The Seabrooker)

SIGSC Hosts Presentation of Angel Oak Preserve

On May 10, 2023 the Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy (SIGSC) hosted Samantha Siegel, the Lowcountry Land Trust’s Angel Oak Preserve Director, who presented the plans for the Angel Oak Preserve, the 44 acre site surrounding the ancient Angel Oak. 

In 2008, Samantha founded the organization “Save the Angel Oak” when the local landmark became threatened by a 600-unit development, ultimately leading a historic grassroots campaign to protect the tree in the heart of Johns Island.  In 2013, Samantha teamed up with Lowcountry Land Trust raising millions to purchase and protect the land once slated for development. Now the project is in the Schematic Design Phase and is moving towards construction as soon as 18 to 24 months.

The Preserve will include miles of boardwalks and walkable trails that will feature interpretive moments to explain the site’s historic hydrologic connectivity and rich ecology as well as the site’s history as a plantation.  A historic site map revealed the location of three cabins of enslaved people, a plantation house and oak allee. Along the Preserve’s boardwalks and trails, visitors will have the opportunity to understand and interpret the history of the enslaved people and their contributions to the Johns Island community.

The more than $6 million project will have a Welcome Center Pavilion that will orient visitors and provide restrooms, an information kiosk and a gift shop.  A forested drive buffering the parking from Bohicket Road will create a sense of arrival and immersion into the forest as visitors arrive at the parking lot.  To protect the Angel Oak, parking and the current gift shop will be relocated away from the extensive root system.  The plan is to have the Preserve open and free to the public.

With as many as 400,000 visitors to the tree annually, the Preserve’s design will increase accessibility and at the same time protect the Angel Oak, its root system and the surrounding plant communities. To learn more about the Preserve, visit www.angeloakpreserve.org.

-Submitted by Susan Leggett for the Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy

(Image Credit: Angel Oak Preserve, Angeloak.com)

Forests, Swamps and Harbor History

Seabrook Island Natural History Group (SINHG) members spent the last month of the spring trip season with boating, birding, and history.

Two favorite locations were on the late spring schedule – Cypress Gardens and Biedler Forest. Members toured the Gardens by boat and met the site’s 6 month-old alligator mascot, Chainsaw. At Biedler, members visited the Audubon Center deep in Four Hole Swamp, where night herons and a prothonotary warbler were spotted.

Sightings of a different kind were enjoyed by members who boarded Carolina Marine Group’s Ship Of Fools (no reflection on the passengers!) for a history-themed tour of Charleston Harbor. They saw Fort Johnson on the tip of James Island, from where the first shot of the Civil War was fired on Fort Sumter, which is also a site seen waterside on the tour. Members got a close-up, waterside look at Patriots Point, the city’s iconic Ravenel Bridge and the busy container ship traffic passing beneath it.

SINHG trips for members will resume in September. For information about membership, visit sinhg.org.

Norm Powers, for SINHG

-Submitted by Norm Powers, for SINHG

(Photo credits: Cypress Gardens and Ship of Fools – SINHG; Prothonotary Warbler -Glenn Cox)

Seabrook Island Volunteering Opportunities

One of the things that makes Seabrook Island so special is the breadth of interests and talents shared by its residents. Fortunately, we have a wide variety of avenues to nurture those interests and talents. Depending on what is important to you and how you like to spend your time, you might want to check out these volunteer opportunities.

Backpack Buddies Seabrook Island (BPBSI)

BPBSI is an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity founded in May, 2014. Our mission is to feed hungry children living below the poverty line who attend Charleston County, SC public schools. We provide nutritious food and snacks to those needy children for the weekend (and school holidays) so that they do not go hungry and can return to school ready to learn. We currently purchase and deliver food for 300 students each week at Elementary and High School’s in the area. Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering or would like more information. 

Contact: Mark Snyder, snydermws@yahoo.com, 919-724-9847.


Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network

The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on protecting marine mammals (dolphins, whales, and seals) in South Carolina waters. The Lowcountry is home to approximately 350 year-round “resident” dolphins. These mammals rely on clean, safe, and quiet water to hunt, socialize and rear young. LMMN needs you to help support them in this important cause!

There are an abundance of LMMN programs and volunteer opportunities that can fit many interests including:

  • Dolphin monitoring programs
  • Stranding response (to marine mammals along the SC coast)
  • Education programs (school, in-person and virtual)
  • Strand feeding education programs (specific to Seabrook and Kiawah Islands)
  • Summer dolphin camps for kids
  • General public outreach (tabling at events, festivals, and more)

If you are interested in learning more about any of these activities, please contact Brooke Brown, LMMN Outreach Coordinator, at brooke@lmmn.org or visit our website at www.lmmn.org for additional information. 

Meals That Heal – Ronald McDonald House Charleston

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The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Meals That Heal program provides breakfasts and dinners to families who are staying at the RMH, who often don’t have the time, funds, or energy to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal. After a long day at the hospital, a hot meal is a welcome gift. The Meals That Heal program relies completely on people within the community to keep it up and running. 

Sarah and Bill Good have been organizing groups of volunteers from Seabrook to provide dinners monthly. The volunteers work as a group to plan menus, purchase ingredients, and prepare meals in RMH’s fully-equipped kitchen. It’s a fun group activity, all while providing much needed support to families of sick children. 

Contact Sarah Good at sarahgood329@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering with other Seabrookers. 

Seabrook Island Village, Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Seabrook Island Village (SIV), Neighbors Helping Neighbors, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization totally staffed by volunteers with the goal of helping Seabrookers of any age remain independent and active in the community. The program officially launched in January, 2020 to fulfill SIV’s mission of providing a variety of services to Seabrookers through a group of trained and vetted volunteers. Services include, but are not limited to transportation, companionship visits, reassuring calls, minor home maintenance, and basic help with technology. We especially are in need of volunteers for transportation and those that are interested in planning and attending social events with members.

Click here for the volunteer application form. Contact: Lucy Walton at lswalton6@gmail.com.

Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation

SIHAF banner

The Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation (SIHAF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is fighting island hunger and providing clean water for the residents of Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. SIHAF oversees three programs needing volunteers.

On the second Saturday of each month, the Blessing Basket provides approximately 300 baskets of nourishing groceries, fresh produce, meat, eggs. and bread to residents of Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. For an opportunity to volunteer for the monthly packing and distribution of the Blessing Basket food, contact the Volunteer Coordinator: Louise Baucom at louise.baucom@gmail.com

In the Crockpot Cooking program, volunteers provide hands-on instructions to elementary and middle school students on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands as they learn to prepare healthy, nutritious meals in a crockpot. To volunteer or for additional information please contact Barbara Griffin at griffib@clemson.edu.

The Water Wellness Mission installs new wells and filtration systems for the hundreds of people on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands who suffer from impure water, and dysfunctional wells. For information and to volunteer, contact: John Carpenter, jcarpenter1313@gmail.com, 309-648-8249.

Tidelines Editors

(Image credit: Clipart Library; BPBSI; LMMN; SIHAF; SIV)

Seabrook’s First Sea Turtle Nest of 2023

The Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol celebrated Mother’s Day very appropriately by finding the first nest on Seabrook Island on Sunday, May 14, 2023. The nest was found between boardwalks 5 and 6 by walkers, Nettie, Neva, Rachel and Marshall Carter, and Valerie and Mark Doane. There were 123 eggs.

To protect the nest from being washed over by tides, it was relocated to a spot higher in the dunes. We’re hoping to get more nests over the next couple of months and everyone can do their part to help. Please remember lights out by 10:00 pm, stay off the dunes and away from nests, fill in any holes and remove all trash and property when you leave the beach.

To learn more about turtles and Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol, go to siturtlepatrol.com

-Submitted by Jane Magioncalda

Seabrook Island Nature Groups

One of the things that makes Seabrook Island so special is the breadth of interests and talents shared by its residents. Fortunately, we have a wide variety of avenues to nurture those interests and talents. Depending on what is important to you and how you like to spend your time, you might want to check out these groups concerned with nature.

Dolphin Conservation Education Program

The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN) is dedicated to protecting local marine mammals for future generations through science, awareness, and conservation. We provide education and outreach to beach visitors on Kiawah and Seabrook Islands about strand feeding dolphins. Educators are present on the beach daily during peak feeding times to collect baseline data on strand feeding occurrences as well as engage with visitors on the topic of our local dolphins and what can be done to protect them.

To learn more about this program, click here. If you are interested in volunteering, email brooke@lmmn.org.

Seabrook Island Birders

Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC, who have an interest in learning, protecting, and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

SIB’s mission is:

  • to enlighten residents and others about the richness and diversity of Seabrook Island’s bird life; 
  • to foster an appreciation for the unique habitats our island provides for these varied species: and, 
  • to emphasize the importance of protecting our wildlife and these natural habitats that are essential for the survival of our native birds as well as the migratory birds we host.

In order to reach these goals SIB sponsors: 

  • educational activities, a website (seabrookislandbirders.org), a blog, a Facebook page, quarterly membership meetings, lectures, workshops, newspaper and magazine articles, etc.
  • various interactive activities including bird walks, local and national bird counts, the monitoring of Eastern Bluebird boxes, participation in special Island events such as Earth Day, the July Fourth Parade, etc.  
  • SIB members’ involvement with other Seabrook Island environmental organizations’ committees and activities.

Contact: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com

Website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/

Seabrook Island Birders Shorebird Steward Program

Red Knots in spring plumage on North Beach at Seabrook Island – Ed Konrad

Seabrook Island is a remarkable habitat for shorebirds and provides a critical stopover for them on their migration journey to the Artic. The Seabrook Island ShorebirdSteward Program shares its shorebird conservation message with beachgoers and educates them about birds like Red Knots. Shorebird Steward volunteers ask beachgoers to respect the shorebirds as they are feeding in the surf or resting at the inlet by not approaching the birds too closely and by walking around them. Their message is: “Share the Beach-Give The Birds Space.” You can reach out to them if you are interested in volunteering.

Contact: sibstewards@gmail.com

Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy

The Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy (SIGSC) was formed in 2000 to help protect and conserve undeveloped properties on Seabrook Island. Green Space acquires land through purchase, donations, or a combination of methods. Once the land is acquired it is quickly deeded over to SIPOA, as Green Space. “Green Space” is defined as that gift of land or perpetual conservation easement which cannot be subdivided, sold or otherwise disposed of under conditions that would permit its use for the erection of any structure whatsoever.

SIGSC is served by a Board of Directors each of whom serves a typical three-year term, which begins in October of each year. More information can be found on our website www.sigsc.net. Donations and comments can be sent from this web page.

At this time, SIGSC has conserved 42 properties making up over 30 acres of land. The next time you pass through the “Canopy” on Seabrook Island Road and immediately feel “at home,” give a special thanks to The Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy.

Contact: President: Meg Carter, greenspace@sigsc.net , 540-597-6314

Website: https://sigsc.net

Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol

The Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol works to protect and preserve the sea turtles that visit our beaches during the summer months. Our season typically runs from May through October with volunteers on the beach every day looking for new nests, checking existing nests, helping stranded hatchlings and inventorying already hatched nests. Volunteers can sign up to handle a number of tasks including walking in the morning, checking nests in the early evening, educating the public and performing inventories. We sign up and train new members in early Spring each year.

Contact: Jane Magioncalda at Email- hello@siturtlepatrol.com or 843-310-4280

Website: https://siturtlepatrol.com

Tidelines Editors

(Image credits: Turtle Patrol, SIGSC, SIB, Ed Conrad)