News Flash

GtCounty General News

Posted on: September 14, 2021

Lights Out for Sea Turtles!

A sign on the beach instructs people to keep off the dunes and keep beach front lights out.

The summer is winding down and the days are getting cooler. But sea turtle hatching season is still in full swing on Georgetown County beaches. Hatching season generally runs from May through October.

As thousands of tiny hatchlings make their way out of nests laid on the beach and head for the ocean, they’ll face a lot of obstacles, including predators. Humans can help!

Make sure you turn off any oceanfront lights. Sea turtle hatchlings rely on the light of the moon reflecting on the ocean to guide them where they need to go. Lights on beach houses or other locations on the beach can confuse hatchlings and lead them astray. Chapter 5.5, Article III of the Georgetown County Code of Ordinances restricts artificial lights on the beachfront from May through October for the protection of Loggerhead sea turtles. 

If you’re lucky enough to see hatchings on the beach, watch from a distance. Don’t use flashlights or flash photography. Definitely don’t pick them up, hold them or otherwise interrupt their journey. Sea turtles are federally protected.

Also fill in any holes you see on the beach, which could trap tiny hatchlings and make them easy pickings for predators.

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