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  • We are thrilled to announce that Sea Island is once again the recipient of three Forbes Five-Star awards!

  • 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 adopting a nest for yourself or giving one as a gift. All proceeds fund sea turtle conservation on Georgia’s coast.

Level 1 – Kemps Ridley

Virtual

This adoption level is great for donors who wish to contribute to the conservation fund while staying up to date on sea turtle nesting season updates. This adoption level is also paper-free! All updates are virtual and will be sent to the adopter’s provided email address. This is a general adoption contributing to all of the nests on Sea Island, no specific nest is assigned. Monthly updates on the status of the nesting season and a PDF adoption certificate will be sent to the donor’s email.

Beach

Level 2 - Loggerhead

Shared

This adoption level allows donors to be assigned a specific nest on Sea Island’s beach with their name displayed on the nest alongside other donors. Adopters will receive a framed certificate with a nest photo, GPS coordinates of the nest location, and the expected hatch date. This package will also include a framed certificate, T-shirt, letter of adoption, lighting awareness magnet, plush turtle, a fact sheet, decal, and loggerhead 4ocean bracelet. In addition to the package, adopters will also receive email updates when the nest is laid, when it hatches, and after the final inventory of the nest.

Sea Turtle Nest

Level 3 - Leatherback

Private

For those who wish to make a larger contribution to the fund, this package is available as a private adoption of a nest. This package will include all of the items from the Loggerhead adoption and more! Adopters will receive a framed certificate with a nest photo, GPS coordinates of the nest location, and the expected hatch date. This package will include a framed certificate, T-shirt, letter of adoption, lighting awareness magnet, plush turtle, a fact sheet, decal, and loggerhead 4ocean bracelet, a meshtote bag, a Sea Island turtle patrol reusable water bottle, reef safe sunscreen, and sunglasses made from recycled ocean plastic. Adopters will also receive email updates when the nest is laid, when it hatches, and after the final inventory of the nest.

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

Nests

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

• Nests: 130

• Estimated Hatchlings Entering Ocean: 3,644

• Estimated eggs: 17,596

• Cups of Coffee Consumed by Nature Team: ~300

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.