It’s November – the season is over. Sea turtle season, that is. The designated dates of May 1 through October 31 allow time for laying the eggs through hatching. But the work to help protect them knows no season.
Share the Beach is a program established to help preserve the last of these ancient reptiles. As an endangered species, they are protected by law. But lack of education can result in curious folks disturbing their nests or inadvertently creating other hazards.
Flashlights, flash photos and lighting from houses and condos confuse the hatchlings as they make their way to the water. Trash and personal items left on the beach overnight act as barricades to the baby turtles’ pathway.
Only a few of the 100 hatchlings in each nest will survive to adulthood. The Share the Beach program hopes to increase sea turtle awareness and therefore make the world a safer place for these delicate 1- to 2-ounce babies to mature.
There are ways you can help. A volunteer program offers interested individuals opportunities to talk to school and civic groups, search for nests and assist hatchlings.
You can also take part in the Adopt-A-Nest program. In exchange for your tax-deductible donation, adopting sponsors receive a certificate, information about sea turtles and their nests, and a report at the end of the nesting season.
For more information, visit the Alabama Sea Turtles website, call 251-540-7720, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.