Turtle Turnaround

Record Hatchlings Give Hope

Shane Myers Photography/Shutterstock.com

Worldwide, six of the seven sea turtle species are threatened or endangered because of human activity. A ray of hope now shining from conservation efforts is that nesting sea turtles have posted record numbers of successful hatchlings in South Carolina the last three years, with Georgia and Florida reporting similar results. Decades of helpful efforts are paying off due to increased public awareness of turtle-friendly practices at seaside locations. Heed these rules:

• Keep lights off on beachfront property during nesting season.

• Refrain from using flash photography on the beach at night.

• Keep beaches and oceans clean. Litter such as plastic bags and balloons can cause injury or death when sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish, a favorite food.

• Respect sea turtles by observing them from a distance.

• Report dead or injured sea turtles and nest disturbances to 1-800-922-5431.

Learn more about sea turtle conservation and how to get involved at dnr.sc.gov/seaturtle. Find an introductory video at OceanToday.noaa.gov/endoceanseaturtles.

This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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