July 15, 2018

Hi, Sea Turtle Friends,

No wonder sea turtles love to nest on Hilton Head Island!  We were just was voted the Number One Island in the Continental United States by Travel and Leisure MagazineHere is the link:

https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/hilton-head-best-island-in-us   We were even mentioned on the Today Show!!

And this week, an editor from the magazine came to the island hear the Hilton Head story.  She rode along on the morning turtle patrol to see a nest being marked.  (She is now the proud adopters of a sea turtle nest!!)   Coastal Discovery Museum CEO Rex Garniewicz was interviewed and took the opportunity to talk about our special endangered nesting sea turtles. Congratulations, Hilton Head Island!!!

 

We are up to 143 nests as of this moment  – those mothers are still making their way ashore as nesting season continues for another few weeks.  Sea turtles do not spend very much time on land – only the little bit while they dash to the ocean as babies until the female comes ashore to nest.  When a mother sea turtle comes ashore, getting to a good nesting place is a laborious and difficult task, and she usually stops to nest as soon as she reaches a dry area above the high tide line.  (Interestingly, she uses her chin to find the dry area!)  Sometimes she takes a short and direct path:

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes she wanders around a bit

                                              :

 

 

 

 

But once in a while, a mother will drag herself a v-e-r-y long way:

 

 

 

This same one even stopped a couple of times to try to nest along the way….

 

 

 

 

until she finally stopped at a sand fence to lay her eggs:

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the nest after marking

 

 

 

 

 

Unless you specified a late season nest, every adopter should have received a nest assignment from me by now – let me know if you have not.

 

Thank you so much for your interest in sea turtles and Hilton Head Island!

 

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org

 


July 7, 2018

Dear Nest Adopters,

What a week!  The 4th of July brought lots of visitors to Hilton Head Island, and lots of “stuff” to clean up from the beach afterwards.  But it was an exciting week for sea turtle fans.

First, a mother loggerhead sea turtle become stuck in a hole on Hunting Island, just a little north of Hilton Head Island.  This mother tried to nest in an area filled with fallen trees and became lodged in a pit below one of the trees.  Volunteers were finally able to free her and she made a beeline back to the ocean.  Hooray for the Friends of Hunting Island!

 

 

 

 

Then, yesterday, a green sea turtle nested in Hilton Head – the only one on the island so far! Green sea turtles are larger than our usual loggerhead sea turtles (green is on the left),

 

 

 

 

their tracks are very different:

 

 

 

 

 

and their nesting area is quite a bit larger than the loggerheads.

 

 

 

 

 

Up to 124 nests as of this morning –interestingly it is exactly half the number of nests that we had on July 7th of last year – but the volunteers are marking the nests, cleaning up the beach and doing everything possible to make sure that the nests that are on Hilton Head Island are safe, untouched by humans or animals, and protected for the hatchings to come.

More news as it happens about your nests and the sea turtles –

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org

 

 


June 20, 2018

Hi, all,

WOW!!  Jayme and Pat of the Sea Turtle Patrol had an awesome day yesterday – 6 new nests AND they got to see this beautiful mother making her way back to the ocean!  I will be on patrol on Friday – hoping for another full day of new nests!

 

 

 

 

 

During the next week, I will be assigning nests to most adopters.  (Since there are far fewer nests than usual, there will be some “sharing” of nests……)  Remember that if you are on the island and would like to select your nest, please let me know right away – otherwise, I will assign one to you.

Thank you so much for all you are doing to spread the word about the sea turtles!!

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org


June 10, 2018

Dear Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Friends,

June 11-15, 2018 has been designated as Sea Turtle Week by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) – and we are doing all we can to help save this beautiful endangered species from extinction!  If you are on the island, even visiting for a short time, you can help!  Neighborhood teams have formed to patrol the various beaches in the early evenings to fill in holes, knock down sand castles and pick up trash.  Let me know if you are interesting in helping.  Here is a picture of some more of our helpers filling in a hole.  It is an excellent, educational and enjoyable way for young and “young at heart” to spend an hour!

 

 

 

 

 

The town of Hilton Head Island is also helping in a big way:  single use plastic bags will not be used by grocery stores starting October 1st.   Turtles think plastic bags are jelly fish (one of their favorite foods (yum!) and eat them (yuk!).    Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris.

 

 

 

 

Buddies?  This week a mother sea turtle laid her nest almost directly on top of a nest that was already there…..maybe she wanted her eggs to have friends nearby…..

 

There are now 57 marked sea turtle nests on the beach – still way behind last year on this date (119) and the year before (142), but ahead of our lowest nest year in 2014 when we only had 38 nests by this date. And it is not just Hilton Head – across South Carolina, there are fewer than half as many sea turtle nests compared to the same time last year.  The assumption is that the harsh winter depleted the supply of food that the sea turtles eat.  A mother sea turtle needs lots of energy to drag herself ashore and lay eggs, so if she does not have enough to eat, she will not make the trip.  But, not to worry:  we feel confident that the numbers will rebound next year, just as they have in years past.Two reminders: 1) let me know if there is a particular Nest # that you would like to have assigned to you,  and 2) if you see a mother sea turtle nesting or hatchlings running to the sea, please do not crowd or touch them or bother them in any way.  Just enjoy the sight!

Thanks for your helping spreading the word about the sea turtles – every bit of help make a difference!!!

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org


June 1, 2018

Dear Local Sea Turtle Nest Adopters,

Many of you have been asking how you can help the sea turtles on the island – here is your chance!!!  As you might have seen in today’s paper, holes and miscellaneous items on the beach are causing quite a problem for our nesting sea turtles and baby hatchlings.  A group is forming to organize a patrol of the north end of the beach – between The Folly and The Westin.  A few local couples were doing it last year but more help is needed!!!  Patrols will be taking place in the late afternoon or early evening; the main purpose will be to fill in holes, knock down sand castles, pick up trash, etc. anything that helps clear the way for the nighttime arrival of our sea turtles.

The first meeting of the North End SeaTurtle Team (N.E.S.T.) will be on Wednesday, June 20th at 5:30 in the main building of Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Resort, 40 Folly Field Road.  Please let me know if you are interested.  This is just an exploratory meeting – no obligation, just a fun opportunity to make a difference!  Bring a friend!

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org


May 29, 2018

Dear Nest Adopters and Sea Turtle Friends,

We are up to 28 nests as of this morning – 7 sea turtle mothers nested on Sunday alone!  This is a nice rebound from a slow beginning!

A couple of updates:

*  It is tourist season on Hilton Head Island and for some reason, many beach goers love to dig very deep holes (Could someone please ask them why they do it???)  These holes are obviously very dangerous for mother sea turtles coming ashore to nest and for hatchlings trying to make it to the ocean from the nest.  (They are also treacherous for night beach walkers!)  Your help is needed to fill in the holes if you see them – or notify us and we will take care of it.   Here are two pictures of holes that two of our nest adopters found on the beach this weekend.  The first one was just too big for them to fill in:

 

 

 

 

They worked valiantly in the rain to fill in this one……. Way to go Nina and Ethan!!!

 

 

 

 

*  A message from the Coastal Discovery Museum CEO Rex Garniewicz:  We have been in discussions with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) this year, because there were several nest-tampering events on Hilton Head Island last year and a few people were seen sitting near nests at night waiting for an emergence.  Out of an abundance of caution, SCDNR has asked us not to share the exact locations of nests with our nest adopters and we have agreed that this is the right thing to do. SCDNR has been very supportive of the Adopt-A-Nest program and they know how this educational program helps protect this endangered species, but their ultimate decision is based on what is best for the turtles.  We will still be able to share most information, including the nest number, when it was laid, as well as the results when the baby turtles emerge and head to the sea. We know that you, just like us and SCDNR, want to protect turtles above all else, and we appreciate your understanding that we can no longer give the nest locations out to the general public.

So friends, this is where we are – although I can no longer give you details about the exact location of your nest, if there is a specific nest number you would like to adopt, please let me know.  I will still keep you up to date on the nests, the sea turtles and the beach in general with current pictures, data and interesting tidbits.   So much is going on every day on Hilton Head Island – nature abounds here!

With sincere thanks for your wonderful support and love of the Hilton Head sea turtles!!!

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


May 23, 2018

To our Nest Adopters,

A few updates on a May morning:

* As of this morning, we have had 8 nests laid on Hilton Head beaches.  This is a very small number compared with past years.  Last year by May 23rd, we had 40 nests.  The two previous years, there were 28 and 35 nests laid by this date.  This beginning is unfortunately most like 2014 when we had 5 nests on this date and only 125 nests all season (compared to 300-400 nests in other years).  Keeping fingers crossed that our mother sea turtles start coming out in bigger numbers in the weeks ahead!

* Some of you are asking about seeing sea turtle tracks in the sand but no nest marker.  No, the turtle patrol did not miss it – what you are seeing is a false crawl.  This is a sign that a mother sea turtle has come ashore with the intention to lay her eggs but for some reason, did not actually nest.  Here is a false crawl from this week taken by a nest adopter:

 

 

 

 

 

This mother was probably turned away by a light or perhaps a person or distraction on the beach.   Sometimes, the mother gets farther along in her nesting, but doesn’t finish digging her nest and abandons the whole thing, like this false crawl:

 

The trained sea turtle patrol gently probes the sand to see if there are any eggs there – a very time consuming task!  We have had 6 false crawls so far this season …….

 

 

* Exciting time at the Coastal Discovery Museum last night as Mary Alice Monroe, a lowcountry author and champion of the sea turtles, launched her latest book – Beach House Reunion. (Some of you might have seen the movie of her book The Beach House, starring Andie MacDowell, this month on the Hallmark channel.)  This is a series of books which features sea turtles.  Mary Alice is on the Board of the Charleston Aquarium, which has just completed a new state of the art hospital for injured sea turtles.  Be sure to visit it when you are in Charleston.  Thanks to Mary Alice for spreading the word about saving our environment and making a difference!

 

 

 

* And Happy World Turtle Day (National Sea Turtle Day is June 16th but we celebrate anything that helps save the sea turtles!) Tune into Facebook page visithiltonhead at 10:50am Eastern today for some Turtle Talk to celebrate #WorldTurtleDay @visithiltonhead@hhiseaturtle.  I’ll be there!

More later –

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org

 


May 16, 2018

Dear Nest Adopters,

At long last – the first sea turtle nest of the season has appeared on Hilton Head Island!  A mother loggerhead sea turtle came ashore yesterday on Folly Field Beach.  And a perfect angel of a turtle: notice how nicely she has positioned her nest in front of the dune fences!

 

 

 

 

The unmistakable tracks tell the story – that a mother sea turtle has dragged her huge body up the beach from the ocean to lay her eggs.

 

 

 

 

She finds a good spot, uses her rear flippers to dig a very deep hole, deposits about 100+ ping pong ball sized eggs, laboriously covers them up, then VERY slowly and tiredly crawls back to the ocean.  A lot of work for an animal who is not used to being on land!

And all of this generally happens in the middle of the night when the beach is dark and quiet.  (A mother likes a little privacy!)

 

 

Jayme and Monica of the fantastic all-volunteer Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Patrol found the first nest and marked it off with three poles, tape and an orange sign indicating that the nest of an endangered species lies below.

 

 

 

We even made the news:  WJCL of Savannah did a story on our first nest – here is the link – http://www.wjcl.com/article/first-hilton-head-island-sea-turtle-nest-of-the-2018-season-discovered-on-folly-field-beach/20713891

On the beach, you can help the sea turtles by filling in holes, picking up trash and keeping lights off.  If you happen to see a sea turtle, a hatchling or a marked nest, please do not touch:  enjoy the sight of nature from a respectful distance.

So, we are off – hoping this is the beginning of a season filled with lots of sea turtle nests on Hilton Head Island!

Thank you so much for your interest!

Sincerely,

 

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org


April 4, 2018

Welcome to the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Adopt-A-Nest Program.  We are so grateful for your interest in the endangered giant sea turtles which nest on our beaches.  Throughout the season, we will tell you all about your nest, general news of the sea turtles, how you can help save them, and related happenings as they occur.  We try to limit the emails to every 10 -14 days during the season, but once in a while, there is exciting news that I can’t wait to share with you

The countdown is on until the first mother sea turtle arrives on Hilton Head Island to lay the first nest of the season!  We never know exactly when it will happen – last year it was May 4th, the year before it was May 10th.  In 2014, the first one did not show up until May 20th.  We should have a contest to guess the arrival date!

But in the meantime:

The sea turtles are getting ready:  At this moment, courtship and mating of male and female sea turtles is taking place in the ocean.  Actually, female sea turtles may mate with several different males just before nesting season.  When she finally lays her eggs, they will have been fertilized by a variety of males!

The Beach is ready: A lot has happened on the beach this winter to make it more hospitable for nesting sea turtles.  After the renourishment of the beach last year, the sand (which is pumped onto the beach from the bottom of the ocean) is compacted, crusty and contains a lot of shells.  So the town arranged for the beach to be “tilled” – a big machine drags a rake to loosen the sand;

 

The town is also installing sand fencing and planting vegetation to re-establish the dunes that were lost in Hurricane Matthew.  The fencing is specifically designed to be sea turtle-friendly so the mothers and hatchlings can get to and from the dunes during nesting and hatching.

 

The Sea Turtle Patrol Team is ready:   Led by Amber Kuehn, this amazing group of trained volunteers is ready to begin their early morning, daily 14+ mile beach ride on May 1st, looking for sea turtle tracks like this:

We’ll let you know as soon as the first nest appears….!

 

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Coastal Discovery Museum

843-415-2211

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

www.coastaldiscovery.org

 


October 24, 2017

Dear Nest Adopters and Sea Turtle Friends,

So – the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle nesting season over.  All the remaining nests that survived Irma have hatched, and we are missing our special summer visitors (I mean sea turtles… but also, yes, we miss our tourists as well!).

But, please allow me a moment to give thanks to all of YOU – our wonderful nest adopters!  You are the ones who are spreading the word, educating people about the endangered species that nest on our island, and helping generations around the world to understand the importance of protecting our environment.  Our nest adopters are from 39 different states, and countries as far away as Switzerland and Japan.

  • Adopters like Sabrina in California, who asked her friends to “Be a Sea Turtle’s Super Hero” instead of giving her gifts for her 7th birthday.
  • And Grace who did her 1st Grade poster on sea turtles – she attends a STEM charter school in Verona, near Madison, Wisconsin.
  • And Robbie Bunting and Jane Hyers of Hilton Head Properties Realty and Rentals who adopt a nest for each of their clients.
  • And our many local adopters who patrol Hilton Head Island beaches to fill in holes, pick up trash, and flatten sand sculptures to make our beach safe for sea turtles.
  • And 4th grader Kyle who made his sea turtle presentation to 100 students at his Georgia school.
  • And a girl doing a Peace project for school, who spends time cleaning trash off the beach and rivers, and made a presentation explaining that she does it to save more sea turtles.
  • How about the NYC law firm, Winston and Strawn, who adopted 68 nests!  Here is Allan presenting the packet of adoptions to me in Manhattan.
  • And our local elementary school raised the funds to adopt a sea turtle nest for each of 10 classrooms.

And there are too many more to mention here…..but on behalf of the Coastal Discovery Museum and the Sea Turtle Protection Project, we thank you so much!!!

In February, I will be sending you all the application for 2018 nest adoption.

Until then, keep in touch –

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project

P.S.  Be sure to visit the museum to see our new sea turtles!!!


September 23, 2017

Dear Nest Adopters,

CSI for Turtles…..that is what two scientists (Dr. Brian Shamblin and Dr. Joe Naim) at the University of Georgia call the DNA work they are doing on our loggerhead sea turtles. They have developed an amazing multi-state research project (the Northern Recovery Unit Loggerhead DNA Project) and for almost 10 years have been gathering important sea turtle data from sea turtle protection projects like ours from Georgia to North Carolina.

Here is how it works:  our Turtle Patrol takes one egg from every single nest on Hilton Head Island shortly after the nest is laid.  The shell is put into one test tube and the yolk into another.

 

The egg shell tells us exactly which female sea turtle laid the nest (the egg shell picks up the mother’s DNA as it is being laid), so we can figure out how many nests a particular mother has laid on Hilton Head Island, and how frequently she nests.  The yolk tells what the female ate – so we can tell how healthy she is and where she goes when she is not laying eggs.

What I find interesting is where the mother nested every season.  For example, we know that the mother turtle identified as Genetic ID CC001226 has been nesting since we started the research….she nested in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and five nests this year.  And every single one of her nests was on Hilton Head Island!  This is the mother sea turtle who laid Nest # 2, 33, 80, 142 and 205.

Other mother turtles are not so faithful – they might nest north of Charleston, then on Hilton Head, down to Cumberland and back up to Isle of Palms!  We are learning so much with every passing day!

Let me know if you are interested in receiving information about the mother of YOUR adopted nest.  If it has completed testing, I will send it to you.

Still watching for hatchings on the beach – and grateful that Hurricane Maria did not pay us a visit!!!

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project


September 19, 2017

Your adopted Sea Turtle nest may have hatched – but we don’t know the results!  As Hurricane Irma approached, the Turtle Patrol was authorized to inventory all nests that had reached 70 days of incubation to determine how many eggs had been in the nest, how many hatchlings had climbed out, and how many were still in the nest needing help to get out.

By the time we returned from the mandatory evacuation, all of the marking poles had been washed away in the storm surge – so we could not locate the nest again.  However, the nest was three feet under the sand, and we feel certain that those hatchlings made it out just fine.  It is nature – and our sea turtles are strong and resilient.  The only down side is that we don’t have the actual numbers of eggs and hatch success for our records.

We are still watching the beach for more hatchlings to emerge from the now unmarked nests.  Interestingly, those tiny hatchlings have a built in GPS!  That is why it is crucial that no one interfere with the hatchlings during their run to the ocean.  They must make their own way.   It is believed that during this trip across the sand, the magnetic field of the earth imprints on the hatchling’s brains, which give them their sense of direction.  In addition to guiding them on their long journey in the ocean (it will take them three days just to reach the gulf stream), this built in GPS will also guide them back to the beach of their birth for nesting in 20-25 years. Amazing creatures!

More news later –

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project


August 29, 2017

Hi, Sea Turtle Nest adopters and Friends,

Lots and lots of hatchlings!!!  And these loggerhead babies are beautiful, aren’t they:

It has been a busy time –nest hatchings are happening very steadily now (several a day) and I want to get your nest result information to you as quickly as possible. We have had 319 nests for the season and 122 nests are remaining to hatch.  All nests through #147 have been inventoried.  Generally the inventory is done by the team on the third day after the hatch.  However, many nests are not inventoried until the 75th day of incubation because we were not able to see the signs of hatching – probably due to rain between patrols.  Also, there is little consistency in the length of incubation:  Four nests hatched today with all different incubation times from 54 to 60 days.  Last week, a nest hatched at 48 days!

We are saddened by the hurricane and flooding that has hit Texas recently.  Hilton Head Island’s brush with a hurricane last year is still fresh in our memories. Since our hurricane hit in October, all of our remaining nests were quickly inventoried and closed up.   However, at this point in the season, there are still plenty of nests on Texas beaches so it will be interesting to see how they fare.

There was another exciting rescue a few weeks ago:  A young loggerhead sea turtle was caught by a fisherman in Sea Pines.

Since the fishhook was stuck, Amber took him to the Aquarium in Charleston (a fabulous place to visit – they have a wonderful sea turtle hospital there!).  The hospital named him Caldwell, did surgery on him to remove the first hook AND an ingested hook, and now he is recovering nicely.  Once he is healed, he will be released back into the ocean.

 

Enjoy the end of summer – more updates later!

 

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

843-415-2211

 


Update August 12, 2017

Dear Nest Adopters and Friends

We seemed pretty solid at 315 nests for the year – Nest # 315 was laid on August 6th and we have not had any nestings, false crawls or sightings since then.  (You can almost set your calendar on these creatures:  last year, the last nest was laid on August 16th; in 2015 it was August 2nd.

However, what we do have is a new WILD NEST – sometimes called an undetected nest – that brought us to 316 this week!  This nest was not noted at the time of the laying – maybe a heavy rainstorm occurred after the mother was finished – so we had no way to know that a nest had been laid……until yesterday morning when the unmistakable signs of a hatch were spotted by the patrol not far from the Dunes House in Palmetto Dunes!

The nests are hatching!!  We have had 105 nests inventoried as of this morning (so far only 9 have not been successful and 2 have washed out to sea but the rest were great!).  What a joy to see the baby hatchlings run to the ocean!  However, since they generally do their great escape during the night when we can’t see them, here is a picture of a hatchling from Nest # 110:

Amazing how those babies all leave at once, climbing over each other to get out – they are really in a hurry to get to the relative safety of the ocean!!!  We continue to have challenges with lights on the beach which disorient the hatchlings, and big holes in the sand blocking their path to the ocean.  There is a large hole right in front of this hatching nest – luckily people were there to quickly fill in the hole just before the hatchlings got to the spot:

The help of our adopters is so appreciated in spreading the word on the beach about how we can save the sea turtles!!!

More later – want to tell you about the sea turtle DNA next time!

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

843-415-2211

 


7/22/17

Hi, all,

* An injured Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle was discovered during the morning patrol this week.  He was taken by our Project Manager, Amber, to the sea turtle hospital at the aquarium in Charleston where it will be treated and released when he recovers.   Kemp’s Ridley’s are an extremely rare sea turtle – and are critically endangered.  This one had been hit by a boat propeller but we have great hopes for a full recovery for him! Attached is the video of his rescue.

 

 

 

 

 

* This is the busiest time of the season for our hardworking turtle team:  there are still new nests appearing every day, (here is Nest # 301 laid today),

many of those need to be relocated (3 just today), false crawls need to be explored (3 of those today as well), green ribbons are being put on all nests of 45+ days of incubation, those nests need to be checked for signs of hatching (31 hatched so far), and then inventories need to be done three days after hatching.  This sometimes makes for a LONG morning patrol!  Hooray for the team!!

* The tracks left by a sea turtle in a false crawl can be a little bizarre:  This mother turtle climbed way over the dune, and the wrack, and all the way up to the renourished beach, did a beautiful Figure Eight in the sand – and left without laying any eggs.  Poor tired and confused mother!

I will try to get hatching results to you as soon as they happen – stay tuned for more news!

 

Andrea

 

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project

 


May 31, 2017

Dear Sea Turtle Friends,

WOW!  Exciting times on the beach near North Forest Beach and Shipyard yesterday morning:  a HUGE (400 pound) mother loggerhead sea turtle was found deep in the dunes.  She had become disoriented (probably by lights) after nesting and wandered through the dunes for more than a mile.  Our turtle patrol came to the rescue –they followed her tracks to locate her, gathered some volunteers, and helped that poor exhausted mother back to the ocean.  She is a cold blooded creature and hours in the daytime sun would not have been good news for her!  Here is the Island Packet article:  They have some great pictures included! http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/untamed-lowcountry/article153386539.html

A happy ending but a good opportunity to remind us to keep our beachfront lights off during sea turtle nesting season…..

In the meantime, we are up to 73 nests as of this morning – about the same pace as the last two years.  The season is off to a great start!

Stay tuned –

Andrea

Adrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

843-415-2211


May 5, 2017

Dear Sea Turtle Nest Adopters,

Whoever guessed May 4th for the first Hilton Head Island sea turtle nest would have been correct – today was the day of our first AND second nests of the season!

In the early hours of this morning,

turtle20171

 

 

 

 

a mother loggerhead sea turtle like this one dragged her huge body ashore in Sea Pines Plantation, spent a long time digging a 3 foot deep hole, and laid her 133 eggs into it, then tiredly made her way back to the ocean.

Turtle20172

Little did she know that she had chosen a spot on the beach that will be having an emergency re-nourishment this summer…..but not to worry!  Our trained and experienced turtle patrol very gently removed all of her eggs and re-buried them in a safe spot further up the beach.  This relocation of nests is very safe when done by experts – in fact our relocated nests last year had a higher success rate than non-relocated nests.  (Even sea turtles need some help sometimes!)

Here are Carrell and Pat carefully moving the eggs from Nest # 1:

turtle20173

 

The turtle team marked the nest to alert everyone to the endangered species nest there and continued down the beach, searching for more tracks…..and found a set of tracks in Port Royal Plantation near the Westin – Nest # 2.  We are off to a great start!!!

 

 

Many more details about the process as we go along – thank you so much for your support of the Hilton Head Sea Turtle Protection Project!

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project

843-415-2211

 


 

Beach towel shotWe have a fun event for your summer visit to Hilton Head Island.  We have adopted four turtle nest, one in Sea Pines, one in Palmetto Dunes, one in Forest Beach and one in Folly Field.  We will send you the Turtle Nest Numbers once the mom’s make their nest.

Find one of our nest, take a photo in front (without disturbing it) and send us the photo.  Email or text.  We will enter you in a monthly drawing for 2 big beach towels.   If you would like to adopt your own nest, click here.  See below for the 2017 update on the Sea Turtles.

April 17, 2017

Dear Sea Turtle Friends,

Welcome to the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Program.  Although some of you are far away (on other continents!) and some live right here on our island, and some have adopted many times before and some are first timers, we are so grateful to each of you for your support and interest in helping to save the endangered gentle giant sea turtles that nest on our beach every year.  We are busy getting prepared for an exciting season ahead and can’t wait to share it with you!

The Sea Turtle Patrol Team is ready:

 

Turtle Nest on Hilton Head

 

 

 

 

The Sea Turtle Patrol Equipment is ready:

Sea Turtles Hilton Head

Here are Jayme and Mary cleaning up the “Green Machine”…. – all ready for marking sea turtle nests.

 

 

The Beach is ready: Just human and shore bird tracks are visible in the sand as the sun comes up – no sea turtle tracks yet!

Hilton Head's New Beach

 

 

 

 

So, all is set – but when will the first mother sea turtle arrive???  Mother loggerhead sea turtles generally begin nesting on the beaches of Hilton Head Island in mid May.  But in case they arrive a little early, our turtle patrol will begin on May 1st.  Every morning, rain or shine, starting at 5 am, our stalwart team will scout the entire 13+ miles of beach looking for sea turtle tracks or stranded sea turtles.  Last year, the first nest was laid on May 10th; the year before, it was May 5th.  In 2014, they arrived on May 20th. Whenever they arrive, we are ready!

We’ll let you know as soon as the first nest appears – stay tuned!

Andrea

Andrea B. Siebold

Coastal Discovery Museum

Sea Turtle Protection Project

Sea Turtle Nest Adoption Coordinator

andreabsiebold@gmail.com

843-415-2211

Sea Turtles on Hilton Head

Comments

comments