If you found yourself on an East Coast beach this July, you may have seen visitors of a different kind.
What am I talking about? Sea turtles, of course!
July marks the start of the sea turtle hatching season in many areas, including on the US East Coast.
Watching baby sea turtles hatch and make their way down to the water is one of the most remarkable sites I've seen.
I could geek out on all of the different species of sea turtles, but I won’t (at least not today).
But, how cool is it that:
Sea turtles often return to the same beach to nest year after year.
They hatch at night and use the moon to guide them to the ocean.
They love to eat Jellyfish.
The above cool facts are also reasons to:
Turn outside lights off or install turtle-friendly lighting to not disorient them when they hatch.
Turtles might think plastic bags and bottles are delicious jellyfish. If you see trash, pick it up.
Don't dig deep holes when you are on the beach. And if you dig any holes, fill them in so that tiny sea turtles don’t accidentally get trapped in them on their way to the ocean.
Pretty easy, right?
Best part, no passport needed. Here is a small sampling of places to encounter sea turtles on the US East Coast.
Bald Head Island, NC - Join naturalists of the Bald Head Island Conservancy for nighttime Turtle Walks and potentially see turtles nesting or hatching.
Jekyll Island, GA - Join the Georgia Sea Turtle Center for a guided beach walk in search of a nesting mother during nesting season, learn the basics of sea turtle nesting and hatching and get the opportunity to witness an excavation of a recently hatched sea turtle nest during hatching season.
Sea Island, Georgia - This amazing five-star beachfront resort offers excursions where you can learn about local sea turtles, search for turtle tracks, nesting mothers, and hatching sea turtles.
Go out, enjoy the summer, the beautiful beaches, and please be mindful of sea turtles!