Sea turtle nesting season coming to end with record-breaking year on Tybee

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 3:04 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Sea turtle nesting season ends Wednesday, Aug. 31, and volunteers have had their hands full. They say they broke the previous record with 35 nests this year and they couldn’t be happier.

Tammy Smith, the island’s Sea Turtle Project Coordinator, says a lot contributes to their successful nesting season. Things like all the conservation efforts that have been put in place, the fishing regulations and the island’s “Lights Out” campaign keeping the beaches dark and bringing awareness to the residents and tourists.

While nesting season is almost over, hatching season is still well underway. Smith says there are about 10 nests left that still need to hatch. Smith says the volunteers have worked tirelessly this season and they’ve even had to overcome some unexpected challenges.

“Extremely busy! We had to do things we weren’t planning to do such as dealing with the coyote and having to restructure how we mark the nests and screen them. That was something new that we had to do on a whim and just keeping track of all the data. It’s a lot for us,” Smith said.

Smith says while it’s not likely, it’s still possible for a late nest to pop up. So, remember to keep the beach dark and clean and stay away from the nests so they can stay safe.

Looking forward to next year, Smith says it’s hard to predict how it’ll go because not all females nest every year.