Search continues for first sea turtle nest of the season on Tybee Island

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 4:46 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - A few days into turtle nesting season and people on Tybee Island are preparing for when the island might see its first nest.

Sea Turtle Project Coordinator Tammy Smith says the island could have its first nest in the next week or so, because mid-May is typically when the nests start popping up.

Volunteers are making their rounds every morning checking for tracks. Last year, Smith said they had 23 nests and that every year they see an increase in the number of nests.

Once one is spotted, it will be moved up to where the dunes are and roped off with a sign encouraging people to stay away from the area.

As we wait for the first one, Smith says it is important for people to start taking precautions now for the mother turtles to be able to safely make it up into the sand.

“The biggest obstacles that we have, three things, trash on the beach. Take what you bring on. Digging holes in the sand is a wonderful thing to do, but please fill them in because it can be a problem for mom turtles nesting as well as when we get to the hatching part of the season those babies can get trapped in the holes. Then the third thing is lights on the beach. We’ve got to have a dark beach,” Smith said.

Smith said with the island gearing up for another film to be shot here next week, the turtle project volunteers will work with the Department of Natural Resources on how to accommodate its production while also making sure the turtles can get onto the beach safely.

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