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Update 9/28/2011: According to a tip from Twitter user @abbeachbum the North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol has an accurate account and inventory of many of the sea turtle nest in North Myrtle Beach.
The North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol calculates the number of total eggs in the nest, number of hatched/unhatched eggs, along with the number of early/late hatchling along with the death/success rate. Their blog is fill will all sorts of fantastic information. Check it out.
Update: Despite precautions taken before the storm, the rough waves associated with Hurricane Irene washed away 20 - 30 sea turtle nests along the Grand Strand.
As reported by WBTW, Ann Wilson of the Myrtle Beach State Park tells us that approximately 200 nests were spotted in our area this year, which is a record. While it's upsetting to lose so many in this hurricane, she says there is only so much you can do.
Click here to see the full report. You can also find the South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts (S.C.U.T.E.), the volunteer organization that works to support the sea turtle nests and population in South Carolina, here on Facebook.
First report on August 22, 2011: After last year's dismal total of two sea turtle nests on the Grand Strand, there are more than 14 this year, which will equal approximately 200 baby sea turtles making their way into the Atlantic.
In this story from WBTW, Ann Wilson, Interpretive Ranger at Myrtle Beach State Park, talks about the the likelihood of sea turtles reaching adulthood and how beach visitors can boost the odds of babies reaching the ocean successfully.
Every journey starts with the first step, right? And with this rise in nest numbers, you may just run into one of these little guys on the beach. You can help clear the path.
I've attended the sea turtle lecture at the Myrtle Beach State Park and learned that by filling holes and smoothing mounds on the beach, you remove the physical obstacles that prevent the baby sea turtles from reaching the ocean. Also, if you encounter them at night, shut off any flashlight or other light source you have. They are attracted to it and will follow you, rather than heading to the ocean. Last, hit the deck. If you want to stick around and watch, get as low and far away as possible, again, so they are not drawn to you.