Turtle-fest creates awareness for loggerheads

Posted

By VICKI BROWN

Edisto Beach State Park celebrated turtle hatching season with a Turtle-fest held on Saturday, June 19.

From 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., families participated in celebrating the return of sea turtles to S.C., featuring exhibits, games, arts, and grafts, live animals, food vendors and prizes. Admission was free to the park and festival.

The purpose of the festival was to create awareness for the plight of the sea turtles, how important they are to the environment and how we need to protect them.

The loggerhead turtle population used to number in the millions, but now it is estimated that only 50,000 exist, according to statistics. These turtles are an endangered species, but creating awareness to the vulnerable and gentle creatures means that more can be saved and so can their hatchlings.

The loggerhead sea turtle, or Kemp’s Ridley, has a greenish brown leatherback and can be found in South Carolina’s waters near the shore from April through November, and nesting on the beaches from May through October.

A favorite spot is Edisto Beach.

According to Edisto Beach Loggerhead Turtle Project volunteers who patrol the beach and check nests for hatchlings, the visiting loggerheads love to come on shore and up to the dunes and dig large, deep holes to lay their eggs. The turtles like the vegetation debris that covers a good portion of Edisto’s beaches. It is safer for the hatchlings who must make their way from the nest to the ocean. The newborns are able to hide and blend in with the vegetation lining the beach which protects them from predators like sea gulls.

The volunteers donate their time to protect nesting sites and recently hatched sea turtles along Edisto Beach shores.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here


X