Posted by Michaela LeMay | 01.30.2024 | Conservation, Turtle Talk

Be a Better Beachgoer!

The journey of an adult sea turtle coming out of the water to lay their nest is terrifying to a creature that spends its entire life in the ocean or the journey of a tiny hatchling crawling down the beach to get to the sea. There are so many things that can cause a delay, a retreat, or even worse. For those of us who love to go to the beach, there are things that we can do on each beach trip to make these journeys a little bit easier for these amazing creatures.

  1. Smash your sandcastles…Building sandcastles at the beach is a staple in every trip I take, however, smashing them down is just as fun as building them. Sandcastles are the size of mountains to hatchling turtles and create obstacles on the beach for nesting moms.
  2. Fill in your holes…Holes pose a potential threat to hatchlings and adult sea turtles. If they fall in, they may not be able to get out, causing further distress. A simple way to prevent this is to fill in your holes at the beach, leaving it nice and flat!
  3. Pick up a piece of trash…As unfortunate as it is, there is always a piece of trash to be picked up. Whether it was your trash or someone else’s, picking it up prevents it from going into the ocean!
  4. Use red light at night…White light can cause a variety of issues for both nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. Opt for a red light if you must use a light on the beach during nesting and hatching season . For more information read our blog about the hazards of light pollution to sea turtles.
  5. Stay off the sand dunes…The hills of sand and grass, as you walk onto the beach, are a critical nesting habitat for sea turtles and many species of birds. They can handle the sun, salt, and warm temperatures but they cannot handle constant foot traffic.
  6. Educate others…It is easy to assume that everyone on the beach knows the same things that you do but that is not always the case. A simple conversation can have a huge impact!

Being a responsible beachgoer is easy! Helping sea turtles can be as easy as changing our behaviors. This summer we challenge everyone to leave our beaches better than how they found them. By doing this, we will make a difference and aid our nesting sea turtles!