Lights Out! Why? The reason that lights on oceanfront properties on Hilton Head Island must be out at 10:00 p.m. is due to the fact that the female loggerhead turtles come out at night to nest. They lay an average of 120 eggs per nest. The female uses her back flippers to create the nest, then she packs down the sand with her body weight and throws the sand around with her front flippers before she returns to the sea.
The eggs incubate for approximately 40-50 days. It’s during this time that the sex of the turtle is determined by the temperature of the nest. Warmer temperatures produce females and the cooler temperatures produce the males. As they hatch they help each other as they dig towards the surface. Once they get to the surface they head towards the water. They figure out which way to get to the water by the slope of the beach & the reflection of the moons light on the ocean.
The Loggerhead Sea Turtles are a “threatened species”-which means that they are susceptible to endangerment in the near future.
Here are some ways in which we can help the Loggerhead Sea Turtles survive on Hilton Head Island.
Turn off your outside lights at 10 p.m. if your home is visible from the beach. The nesting and hatching season for Loggerheads is from May 1 thru October 31.
If any of your interior lights are visible from the beach or cast any light onto the beach-please close your blinds or drapes at 10 p.m. or turn them off completely.
Nesting female turtles & hatchlings may get tangled in beach chairs, umbrellas, or beach toys. Please do not leave any items on the beach overnight.
Have fun at the beach? Build sandcastles! Dig holes! HOWEVER please return the sand to its undisturbed state before leaving the beach as nesting females & hatchlings can become trapped or disoriented as they try to make their way to either building a nest, or returning to the ocean.
Always dispose of your trash.
Please don't disturb a sea turtle nest, a nesting sea turtle, or a hatchling. It's illegal to disturb a Sea Turtle Nest in South Carolina. Loggerheads are listed as a “threatened species” by both the Federal Government & the State of South Carolina. If a person is caught disturbing the Sea Turtle Nest or interfering with the hatchlings, you will be fined if you do.
Let's all to work together towards ensuring that the Loggerhead Sea Turtles survive.
Please call me if you would like to know more about Living the Life on Hilton Head Island!
Colleen Sullivan, Associate Broker
Keller Williams Low Country