27 Jul How to Help Protect the Loggerhead Sea Turtles in Myrtle Beach
How to Help Protect the Loggerhead Sea Turtles in Myrtle Beach
Believe it or not, when participating in a dolphin watch as one of your things to do in Myrtle Beach, you might get lucky and stumble across a loggerhead sea turtle. Though we don’t mean you will literally stumble across one of these magnificent and ancient-looking creatures, the chances are that you will see one when out in the water or walking along the beach. In particular, you may get lucky enough to see the hatching ritual of you are visiting Myrtle Beach during July through October.
And though it can be quite the spectacle to see hundreds of baby loggerhead sea turtles making their way from their eggshells to the ocean, it is essential that visitors to the Myrtle Beach area know that these creatures are nearing extinction. Unfortunately, sea turtles have been dwindling in population due to bycatches in fishing gear and nets, vessel strikes, ocean pollution, climate change, and a host of other reasons. And to make matters worse, humans that don’t know how to help protect these animals can cause more harm than good, creating yet another reason that sea turtles never make it to their mature age of 20 to 25.
5 Ways to Help Protect the Sea Turtles
So, if you are in Myrtle Beach, what can you do to help protect the loggerhead sea turtles? Check out our list of five ways to learn more and do your part.
- If you see a loggerhead sea turtle nest on the beach, keep your distance and ensure that you don’t touch it or disturb it. In many cases, volunteers from one of the various organizations that seek to protect these creatures may have already roped off the area around the turtle. But if not, it is essential to note that human disturbance puts the eggs at risk. As loggerhead sea turtles are federally protected, be sure to inform the authorities if you see a turtle and the area has not yet been marked.
- If you are participating in a Myrtle Beach dolphin watch it’s not uncommon for guests to end the day checking off the sea turtle as one of the sea creatures they saw in Myrtle Beach. So, if you spot a female sea turtle swimming towards the shore, be sure to keep your distance. If the mother-to-be feels threatened, it is likely that she will not land on the beach and lay her eggs.
- If you’re staying at an Airbnb or rental house property, turn off all exterior beachfront-facing lights after 10 p.m. Further, refrain from the use of flash photography on your phone or camera. Know that flashlights can also be disturbing to the turtle mother and babies, so avoid use wherever possible.
- If you dug a hole as part of your sandcastle or other sand activities during your time at the beach, be sure to fill it in before you leave your spot on the sand. Don’t assume the water will wash away your hole. These holes can trap baby loggerhead hatchlings when they make their way from the nest to the ocean.
- If you take a cooler with food and bags, throw all garbage items away before you leave. Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for food. And we all know that straws can be dangerous for sea turtles, so be sure to dispose of all waste properly.