This time of year you are not the only one looking for Sea Island or St Simons Island real estate.
May until July is sea turtle nesting season here. Female sea turtles will lay from one to five nests on our beaches. Most of the nests are loggerheads, but green and leatherback sea turtle nests are found too.
The eggs are about the size of a ping pong or golf ball. They are very soft to the touch; they don’t have a hard shell like a chicken egg. A nest will have anywhere from 100 to 125 eggs and the eggs take about 60 days to hatch. All marine turtles in Georgia are protected by state and federal law.
Here is what you can do to help protect sea turtles:
- Minimize beachfront lighting during sea turtle nesting season.
- Turn off, shield or redirect lights.
- When walking the beach at night, don’t use flashlights and flash photography. They can keep turtles from coming ashore to nest or cause them to abort nesting.
- Remove recreational equipment such as lounge chairs and umbrellas from the beach at night. They can deter nesting attempts and interfere with the seaward journey of hatchlings.
- If you dig a hole on the beach during the day, fill it back in before you leave, a nesting mama or hatchlings can get caught in a hole.
- Properly dispose of your garbage. Turtles may mistake plastic bags, Styrofoam, balloons, and trash floating in the water as food.
- If you see litter or debris on the beach, please pick it up.
- If you encounter a sea turtle, remain quiet, still and at a distance. Not only is interacting with the turtles illegal, it is also potentially harmful to the animal.
- Leave turtle tracks undisturbed. Researchers use them to identify the species and mark nests for protection.
To report a dead or injured turtle, or sea turtle harassment, call 1.800.2.SAVE.ME.
In 2016, no sea turtle nests have been found yet on St Simon or Sea Island. One sea turtle nest has been found on Little Sea Island.