Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Turtle Fest Educates at Edisto Beach State Park

Park Ranger Ashby Gale educates attendees about turtle nests
Hatchlings will appear and be monitored later in summer
Beautiful beach weather greeted the family-oriented crowd that came out for Turtle Fest on Saturday morning. The educational programs and activities were free to those with a paid park admission fee that day. Park rangers, staff and interns were all on hand to make sure that everyone felt included in their interactive campaign. Topics included nesting habits and the up to date count on turtle nests for 2015 on their 1.5-mile stretch of undeveloped beach.
The day began at 10 a.m. under a picnic shelter near the beach when state park ranger Ashby Gale welcomed everyone for the four-hour sea turtle fest. The kids were delighted to see a face painting station, and to learn that a raffle at 2 p.m. for participants included a guided sea turtle night walk. Gale explained that his first activity would be a mock sea turtle nest inventory on the front beach, while other educators would remain under the shelter and give informative talks on loggerhead life and DNA studies.
Ping Pong balls make an excellent substitute for turtle eggs,
during the mock nest excavation
With a cool breeze blowing down the beach, most of the crowd elected to take the path through the dunes to where the mock nest was located, not far from the site of a real sea turtle nest was clearly marked and roped off. “Sea turtles usually come ashore after dark and almost always dig their nest above the high tide line on the beach,” said Ranger Gale. “The use their hind flippers to excavate the nest cavity that is 18 to 24-inches deep.” 

To read the entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
A 2015 sea turtle nest marked as off limits to the public

To view past blog entries on sea turtles click SCDNR Sea Turtle TrawlLeatherback Sighting - World Sea Turtle Day - SC Aquarium Sea Turtle Release

To view past blog entries on the Edisto coastal area click on ACE Basin NERR

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