The seventh annual Turtle Crawl hatches at 8:30 a.m. Friday on Fripp Island.
The crawl will include two events -- a 5K run and family-friendly one-mile walk -- according to Janie Lackman of the Fripp Island Turtle Protection Program.
Registration for the events costs $25, with most of the proceeds donated to the S.C. Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital in Charleston, which runs the Sea Turtle Rescue Program to care for sick and injured turtles, Lackman said.
The Fripp Island program has helped host the crawl each year to raise awareness of the endangered loggerhead sea turtles that nest along Fripp, Hunting, Hilton Head and many of the other Sea Islands in the Lowcountry, Lackman said.
Last year, more than 200 racers participated in the crawl, raising more than $5,000 for the turtle rescue program, she said. This year, more than 200 have already registered online, with in-person registration available at 7:30 a.m. Friday.
"We're excited and really have gotten some great support from the community already," Lackman said.
Before and after the races, the Fripp Island Turtle Protection Program will host free lectures about sea turtles and conservation efforts.
S.C. Department of Natural Resources veterinarian Al Segars will speak at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Ocean View Lounge near The Beach Club at 342 Tarpon Blvd. Segars will discuss some of the state's recent research into turtle genetics and the juvenile turtles that have hatched in Beaufort County and returned to the sea, he said.
S.C. Sea Turtle Rescue Program manager Kelly Thorvalson will talk about her program and the Sea Turtle Hospital's efforts at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Fripp Island Property Owners Association board room at 201 Tarpon Blvd.
Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.