It’s hard to believe, but turtle season is upon us on Edisto Beach.
Nesting loggerhead turtles have already made their way up to the beach, and many more will be on their way throughout the season. Since the beach renourishment program is almost finished, these turtles who are frequent visitors to the beach must be shocked at how much sand there is, but even so, that’s all the more reason to respect their nesting habits. After all, sea turtles expend an extraordinary amount of energy to come onto shore and drop their eggs.
So, what does that mean for residents and visitors? Take a look at these reminders and do your part to help the turtles.
1. Remember to turn off your exterior lights and block bright interior lights with curtains or blinds. The artificial light can confuse turtles and their hatchlings.
2. Don’t leave anything behind on the beach. That means take down all chairs, nets, tents and equipment at the end of the day. Anything that can be a hindrance to turtles can jeopardize their nesting habits.
3. Be a good beach steward and bring an extra trash bag to the beach when you’re visiting so you can collect anything that might have been left behind. This helps prevent sea turtles and other forms of marine wildlife from accidentally ingesting trash.
4. Don’t disturb a nesting turtle if you happen to see one. That means do not use flashlights on the beach or take photos using flash. Nesting turtles use a large amount of energy to deliver their clutch and any human interference could result in the turtles dropping their eggs into the ocean.
5. As the season progresses, do not disturb any nests or hatchlings. They do not need help reaching the water.
6. Keep pets away from nests. It’s important to respect the sea turtles so that they continue to flourish for years to come.
Sea turtle season runs through October, so be sure to remember these guidelines when visiting Edisto Beach.