From The Blog
Help Keep Turtles Safe on Kiawah’s Beach
Sea turtle nesting season begins each year around May. For the next few months, mama sea turtles will journey out of the Atlantic and onto the beach to dig their nests in the sand. The town’s Turtle Patrol volunteers will scan the dune line daily to watch for new nests, documenting them for monitoring and relocating them if needed. In mid-summer, nesting will wane and hatching will begin. From May through October, you can play a critical part to ensure this cycle is not disrupted. Turn off all beachfront lights and do not use flashlights on the beach after sunset. The Town of Kiawah Island ordinance requires beachfront lighting to be off from 9 p.m. to dawn. Mother turtles and hatchlings are guided by the moon to return to the sea, and artificial light can disorient them, guiding them the wrong direction and threatening their survival.
Two more things to remember: as amazing as it is to see a giant sea turtle venturing onto the beach, stay back and do not approach the turtle, not even for a photo op, and fill in any holes dug in the sand. Mama turtles may feel threatened if approached and could turn around, later dumping their eggs in the sea to perish, or they may stop prematurely, nesting too far down in the sand, also risking the survival of their eggs. Holes on the beach could be too deep or steep for a mama turtle or hatchling to climb out of, so please, always fill them in after play.