Welcome to Turtle Season 2014!
Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) nest on South Carolina beaches May through October. S.C.U.T.E. which stands for South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts is one of 30 volunteer sea turtle protection projects along our coastline under the direction of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The 60 mile S.C.U.T.E. area extends from North Inlet in Georgetown County to North Myrtle Beach. The six miles of DeBordieu and Hobcaw beaches typically account for 30-50% of the nests in this area.
The 2013 nesting season was a record with 5198 nests (4628 in 2012) laid along the South Carolina coast! The S.C.U.T.E. area recorded 239 nests (205 in 2012). Here at DeBordieu & Hobcaw there were 108 nests in 2013 (73 in 2012). One possible explanation for the surge is that SCDNR's volunteer nest protection program is about 25 years old. Sea turtles mature at 25-30 years. The theory is that the first female recruits from the volunteer effort are now returning as first time adult nesters. We will see if this trend continues into the next few years!
A REMINDER ABOUT HOLES/SANDCASTLES ON THE BEACH: Please dig holes and build sandcastles below the high tide line. The ocean will naturally fill them in. These obstacles can be a hazard to nesting & hatching sea turtles and to people walking on the beach at night. Also, please remember to turn off oceanfront lighting by 10 p.m. during the nesting season. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
On these pages we will bring you Turtle Season 2014 at DeBordieu and Hobcaw!