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  • turtle nests on the beach

Adopt-a-Nest Program

Sea Island is the nesting and hatching location for threatened loggerhead sea turtles from mid-May to early October. You can help us protect this beloved species by making a contribution to our sea turtle nest adoption project. All proceeds fund sea turtle conservation on the Georgia coast.

Level 1 – Kemps Ridley


This adoption level is great for donors who wish to contribute to the Wildlife Conservation Fund within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources while staying up to date on sea turtle nesting season updates. This is a general adoption contributing to all of the nests on Sea Island, no specific nest is assigned.

Your group will also have the option to request a Sea Island naturalist to speak at an event of your choice on Sea Island. For more details regarding pricing and availability please contact [email protected].


Level 2 - Loggerhead


This adoption level allows you to receive sea turtle nesting season updates throughout the summer. You will also receive a sea turtle nest adoption package that includes a framed certificate of adoption, a plush turtle, a Sea Island adopt-a-nest decal, a sea turtle nesting fact sheet, a lighting awareness magnet, and a customized letter of adoption from the Sea Island nature team.

If your group would like to purchase extra items for individual guests, please contact [email protected] for pricing and availability details. Please note that all extra items are purchased separately and are not part of the donation amount.

Your group will also have the option to request a Sea Island naturalist to speak at an event of your choice on Sea Island. For more details regarding pricing and availability please contact [email protected].

General Donation

If you are looking to participate without purchasing a particular package, we also provide an opportunity for general donations. Just as the packages above do, the entire amount of your donations will go directly into the Wildlife Fund of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

You have questions, we have answers!

Sea Turtle Activity


A nest is created when a mother turtle emerges from the ocean and lays her 100-150 eggs on the beach. When the mother turtle finds the perfect spot on the dry sand, she digs an egg chamber with her hind flippers and deposits her eggs. She then covers them up and throws sand to camouflage her nest from predators such as raccoons, armadillos, and wild hogs. Then she will return to the ocean. She can lay four to five nests per season, but never comes back and checks on them. The nest then takes 45-60 days to hatch.

False Crawls

A false crawl is when a mother turtle comes up on the beach and does not nest. You can see the crawl tracks without a distinct body pit. Usually the mother turtle spends much less time on the beach during a false crawl than when she lays a nest. She could emerge from the ocean without nesting for many reasons including not liking the sand consistency, running into something like a sand castle or chair left out on the beach, encountering a bright light from a house or flashlight, or being spooked by a predator or humans. In a normal season the false crawls result in a little less than half of the sea turtle activity that is found on the beach.

Then and Now

2022 Season Updates

• Nests: 144 (the previous record was 114 nests in 2019)

• First Nest Emergence: Nest 2, July 5

• Estimated Hatchlings Entering Ocean: 9,510

• Estimated eggs: 15,296

• Cups of Coffee Consumed by Nature Team: ~968

• Miles Covered on Dawn Patrol: 1,210

2023 Season Updates

Check back for updates beginning in May, when the sea turtle season officially kicks off!

Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance for Sea Island

From May 1-October 31 all members and guests shall adhere to the Glynn County Sea Turtle Season Lighting Ordinance. White lights are prohibited on the beach at night during this time frame. Red sea turtle-friendly lights may be used as an alternative.

  • Do not touch or disturb a sea turtle nest on the beach.
  • Do not touch or disturb a nesting or hatching sea turtle. Please observe from a distance.
  • Members and guests shall remove all personal items from the beach upon departure each day as not to obstruct sea turtle nesting and hatching. This includes but is not limited to chairs, tents, coolers, umbrellas, flotation devices, beach toys, etc.
  • If a deceased or injured sea turtle is encountered, please call the Sea Island Nature Center at (912) 634-4499.