Green Guide

More disoriented sea turtles this year in South Carolina

Posted August 30

— More sea turtle hatchlings are having problems finding their way to the ocean this year on some South Carolina islands.

Amber Kuehn with the Sea Turtle Protection Project told The Island Packet of Hilton Head there have been more disoriented turtle hatchlings this year than in the three previous years combined.

The hatchlings go back to the ocean by following the downward slope of the beach and moonlight reflected off the ocean's surface. Landward lights that are brighter than the moon can disorient the hatchlings and cause them to move away from the ocean.

A Hilton Head ordinance states outside lights visible from the beach must be off from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. from May through October. Kuehn says tourists and residents sometimes forget to turn off the lights.


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