This is in response to the July 24 letter about turtle hatchlings. The Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project is closely monitoring the amount of smooth cordgrass (wrack) that is near each sea turtle nest found on Hilton Head.
In most cases, hatchlings can crawl over the wrack without difficulty as they journey toward the sea. To date, the Sea Turtle Protection team has not documented any instances where emerging hatchlings have had difficulty making it to the ocean as a result of the presence of beach wrack. In those instances where an unusually dense quantity of wrack is observed in front of a nest site, the team will clear a path from the nest. It is important to remember that because the loggerhead sea turtle is a federally protected species, the clearing of wrack within or around nest sites should only be done by project staff when necessary.
We would like to thank everyone for their concern and interest in sea turtles. We encourage you to help protect this species by keeping the beach dark at night, removing beach litter, filling in sand holes on the beach and practicing "turtle-friendly" boating.
Thank you for supporting the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project. Together, we are making a difference.
Amy Tressler, manager
Sea Turtle Protection Project
The Coastal Discovery Museum
Hilton Head Island