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Hilton Head Island

Posted on | February 14, 2012 | Comments Off on Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island, located in South Carolina, is one of the only places where you can walk your dogs on the beach unleashed after 5.00 pm in the summer. As I tried to get a daily walk in the evening with my dogs, I noticed over the past couples of months several roped-off areas that indicate where active Sea Turtles nests are.

 

Over the past few days I have noticed green flags on the nests and called the Coastal Discovery Museum to find out what the flags mean. What I was told is that after the mother turtle lays her approximately 100 ping-pong ball sized eggs into the nest, it takes about 60 days for the hatchlings to emerge from the sand and scramble into the ocean. The green flags indicate that this is about to happen on the marked nest. Only about 1 in every 10,000 hatchlings survives into adulthood.

 

Sea Turtles usually emerge from the nest at night and orient themselves toward the brightest horizon and dash to the sea.

If you are visiting Hilton Head over the next couple of months, and are staying oceanfront, please obey the local town ordinance and cover any windows facing the beach with draperies or shades. Lights from buildings can disorient the hatchlings, and they may wander inland, where they often die from exposure or predation.

 

If you are lucky enough to watch the turtles make their way to the water’s edge, please observe from a distance. It only takes the hatchlings about five minutes to get from the nest to the ocean, so if you do see the show, you were at the right place at the right time! For more information on the Sea Turtle nests, contact the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island.

 

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