South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts

 

Under a permit from the SC Department of Natural Resources, S.C.U.T.E. Volunteers serve as stewards to protect the

turtles’ nesting habitat and as educators to those who show an interest in learning more about our turtles and how

to help them. From May until the last nest hatches, volunteers monitor the beach at dawn each day for signs of turtle

activity, whether that be a simple crawl onto the beach, the laying of a new nest, or the evidence of an overnight nest hatch.

 

S.C.U.T.E. volunteers wear distinctive white tee shirts. You are invited to address any of your sea turtle questions to these volunteers. S.C.U.T.E. is self-funded by its volunteers. If you wish to provide a donation to further sea turtle protection,

S.C.U.T.E. encourages you to contact the Sea Turtle Rescue Program at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, SC.

 

 

 

 
 
 

There are Seven Different Species of Sea Turtles Worldwide:

Leatherback, Green, Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley,

Flatback, Hawksbill, and Olive Ridley.

 

Virtually all turtles that lay nests on Pawleys Island are Loggerheads,

 a species over 150 million years old. Adult Loggerheads are 3 x 4

feet in size and weigh 300 pounds (seen in the video above).

 

Every second or third year, they lay 4 or 5 nests a season, each containing an average of 120 ping-pong sized eggs. Nests that

are laid in the inter-tidal zone or in areas at risk for foot traffic are

carefully relocated by S.C.U.T.E. volunteers who have been trained

and authorized by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

You can spot sea turtle nests by their distinctive orange

screening and orange signs on nest poles.

 

 
 

 

 

In recent years Loggerheads have made a recovery despite still

being classed as endangered by the U.S. Dept.of the Interior.

Nesting on Pawleys Island has increased from an average

of just 8 -Nests a year from 1996 – 2001 to an average of

 20 -Nests in the years 2010 – 2016. There was a record

number of 24 -Nests on Pawleys Island in 2016 !!!

 

Loggerhead nests incubate for an average of 60 days with

hatching almost always occurring in the coolest/darkest hours

of the night. Three days after a hatching is reported by a

S.C.U.T.E. volunteer, the nest is inventoried and its varied

contents (hatched shells, live hatchlings, un-hatched shells,

dead hatchlings) are reported to the S.C./ DNR. These

inventories are excellent opportunities for the public

(particularly children!) to learn more about sea turtles.

 

Contact Coastal Carolina Winery if you are interested in more

information and would like to become involved in support.

We Look Forward To Hearing From You.