It’s May! You know what that means…Sea Turtle Season! That’s right, May first was the first official day of the 2012 sea turtle season! Mermaid Cottages loves our sea turtles! We always have several Mermaids and Mermen that are part of the 6 a.m. Turtle Patrol from May 1st through September 1st, where we walk the beaches of Tybee looking for signs of newly laid nests. We are definitely looking forward to the 2012 season and all it will bring!
Spotting nests or crawls means sea turtles have arrived, so making sure you know about turtle-friendly habits is a must. Lights Out for the Sea Turtles is a very important part that! We must all do our parts to make sure baby sea turtles have the best conditions possible when they hatch so they can make it safely to the waiting waves. We’ve made sure our two beach front cottages- Doyle’s on the Beach and Crabby Jo’s– have sea turtle friendly lighting and that our guests know what to do to make their stay turtle friendly as well! What can you do to make Tybee safe for sea turtles? Well, here are just a few healthy habits to adopt:
- Don’t litter! Clean up behind yourself or pick up debris in the sand. Turtles can get entangled, or worse, mistake the garbage for food.
- Turn off lights visible from the beach. Sea turtle hatchlings use light and reflections from the moon to find their way to the water at night. Artificial lighting can confuse them and cause them to head inland instead of out to sea. All those artificial lights may scare females away from nesting on the beach, too. So please remember to turn off those lights!
- Be Aware of Sea Turtle Nesting Areas. Nest will be marked, once found, and need to be respected. We know, baby sea turtles are precious, but it’s against the law to disturb nesting or hatchling turtles. Make sure to give nesting areas plenty of space, and do not disturb females as they emerge from the ocean to nest.
If you are walking the beach an notice a crawl, unmarked nest, or a sea turtle, make sure to contact (in this order): Tammy, Sea Turtle Project Coordinator – 912.484.3416, Tybee Island Marine Science Center – 912.786.5917, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources – 800.241.4113. We want to make sure every nest and every hatchling has the very best chance of making it!
Here at Mermaid Cottage, we love sea turtles so much even have our very own brand of coffee! It’s created just for us and supports the Sea Turtle Project in Georgia. Mermaid Morning Bliss is available in each cottage to enjoy during your stay and is also for sale at our favorite place to shop, Seaside Sisters here on Tybee! All profits go towards these projects. We are also avid supporters through the Tybee Island Marine Science Center and the annualTybee Turtle Trot 5K race held each spring to kick off Sea Turtle Season!
As you can probably tell, sea turtles are near and dear to our hearts. We love our sea creatures, oceans, and guests and we couldn’t be more proud that we try our very best to take care of all three! Make sure you keep up with all the happenings on the Tybee Sea Turtle Project Facebook Page and right here on our blog. We can’t wait to see what this season brings! Viva la sea turtles!