Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 16

Turtle power!

Get to know the endangered
sea turtles of Georgia's Golden Isles

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

BY LYNN COULTER

OR
GE

GI
AD
EPA
RE
AL
RTM
ENT OF NATUR

S

SO

et your alarm and
wake up early for
dawn patrol on
Georgia's Golden
UR
Isles. During hatchCE
S
ing season, baby
loggerhead sea turtles also will be
up before the sun. When you take a
guided walk or tour, you might see
them crawl out of their nests, scamper across the beach and plunge
into the ocean for the very first time.
Parents and kids whisper when
they're on these kinds of adventures.
They understand that this turtle species-one of five in Georgia-needs
our help if it's going to survive.
Loggerheads are the only sea
turtle species that nests regularly on
Jekyll, St. Simons, Sea Island and
Little St. Simons, the four barrier
islands known as the Golden Isles.
16

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Sea Turtle Program Coordinator Mark Dodd,
right, trains members of the St. Simons Island Sea Turtle Project in 2016.

Sadly, the turtles' numbers have been
declining around the world. These
graceful swimmers can succumb to
many dangers, such as shrimping
nets, beach development and poaching. Even ocean trash and pollution
can take a deadly toll.
But things are looking up.
Thanks to conservationists, scientists
and others, more sea turtle nests
are showing up on the Georgia
coast. Although fewer than 400 were
counted in 2004, in 2016 there were
3,291 nests, of which 3,289 were for
loggerhead sea turtles, says Breanna
Ondich, a research specialist at Jekyll
Island's Georgia Sea Turtle Center
(GSTC). "We're on a good trajectory."
The GSTC is Georgia's only education and rehabilitation facility for
sea turtles, and its programs, events
and interactive exhibits are open
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

to the public. Visitors also can see
some of the patients in this sea turtle
hospital, the only one of its kind in
the state.
Plan a trip to the Golden Isles
during nesting and hatching season,
which generally runs from May to
October, to learn more about these
amazing reptiles. Just remember:
There's no guarantee that you'll see
a live turtle on the beach. After all,
they're wild creatures, which makes
your visit even more exciting!
Here are a few ways to potentially spot sea turtles.

Take a field trip at the Georgia
Sea Turtle Center.
Sunrise beach ecology walks,
which last one to 1-1/2 hours, start
in August and may go into SeptemGEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - June 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 11
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 12
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 13
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 14
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 15
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 16
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 17
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 18
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 19
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 20
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 21
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 22
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 23
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 24
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 25
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 26
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 27
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 28
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 29
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 30
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 31
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 32
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 33
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 34
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 35
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 36
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 37
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 38
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 39
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 40
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 41
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 42
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 43
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Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 45
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 46
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover4
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