By The Elementary Kid | Have you ever heard of the loggerhead sea turtle? They live in our oceans and nest on our beaches. They are an endangered species, having historically been trapped in shrimp nets, suffered the effects of pollution, dealt with human development, and on top of all of that, they have to face their natural preditors, mainly sharks of all species.
Loggerheads are important to Beaufort because it is our job to protect them.
At Hunting Island during the turtles nesting season, which is from may through October, volenteers go to beach at about 6 o’clock in the morning to look for turtle tracks in the sand. These volunteers have to make sure that the nests that the turtle eggs are in aren’t to close to the water. And if they are too close, it is their job to very carefully relocate them up further on the beach or into the sand dunes. If you have ever been to Hunting Island you’ve probably seen the signs that say to stay off of the sand dunes, or the big cages in the sand. In case you were wondering, the cages have turtle nests in them under the sand. They are there to help keep predators like seagulls and raccoons out. After they hatch, the babies make their way through the sand and into the open ocean following the guidance of the moonlight. So it is important that Hunting Island has their lights out policy so the newly hatched baby turtles don’t get confused. The lights out policy is a period of time that people aren’t allowed to have lights on or use flashlights at night, on, or near the beach.
These are some of the things that people just like you and me are doing to help the loggerhead sea turtle survive.
‘Editor’s note: The Elementary Kid’ is a local 11 year old student currently attending the 5th Grade in the Beaufort County School District.
…a look at Beaufort through the eyes of our youth.