May is here and so is the start of the sea turtle nesting season here at Holden Beach and that means that the turtles can be seen any day now. Each year hundreds of loggerhead sea turtles flock to Holden Beach in late spring to make their nests. And when you stay in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals, you may have the opportunity to see a nest or even a turtle. Let’s look below at some of the things you need to know about the turtle nesting season here at Holden Beach.
When Does the Turtle Nesting Season Begin and End?
Many of the local residents love this time of the year not only for the warm weather, but also for the start of this season. Beginning on May 1st each year is the start of one of the most magical times on the North Carolina coast. This is the start of the loggerhead sea turtles nesting season and it’s something you don’t want to miss each year while on vacation. During the night is when you may see the turtles come to the shore and lay their eggs in the nests they have built. All along the coast of North Carolina is where you will find most of the nests and the eggs. Turtle nesting season doesn’t end until October 30th every year so while you are on vacation to Holden Beach this summer, know that it is turtle nesting season.
How You Can Help Protect Our Loggerhead Sea Turtles
At Holden Beach, we take protecting our loggerhead sea turtles very serious as they have made their home on our beautiful shore. We have several hundred local volunteers that check out the beaches each morning in search of new nests that were built the night before. These volunteers do mark each new nest with a protective grating, marked with stakes, ribbons and a warning sign. Each nest is monitored for the next 50-70 days for their safety and for any activity of when they are ready to hatch. Here are a few rules to follow while you are vacationing to Holden Beach during turtle nesting season:
- Please keep your distance from the turtles nest and the mothers who lay the eggs.
- Don’t disturb the nests or the grating that are covering the nests. These grates help keep predators away from the eggs and hatchlings.
- Don’t use your flashlight on your phone and don’t leave the outdoor lights on overnight at your Oceanfront vacation rental. The turtles use the moonlight to help guide them to the ocean and any other lights will distract them from what they came to shore to complete.
- Please clean up after your day at the beach and don’t leave any of your beach equipment on the beach overnight.
- Please keep the beaches clean from any trash or plastic on the days you spend at the beach. We like to keep our beaches free of trash to help with the new hatchlings as much as we can.
- If you see a mother who is in distress, injured or unmarked nests, please contact the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol today at 910-754-0722.
While ther are many other things that you can do while on vacation to Holden Beach during the turtle nesting season, these are the most important ones we wanted to share. If you haven’t made your family vacation to Holden Beach yet, now is the time. We can’t wait to see you and your family on your next vacation to our beautiful Holden Beach this summer!