Sea Turtles

Sea Turtle

Endangered sea turtles visit the South Carolina coastline to nest each year from May-August. For over twenty years, with the help of state parks personnel and local volunteer groups, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SC/DNR) has monitored the annual number of nests, eggs, and hatchlings on SC beaches.

Ancient mariners and global travelers, sea turtles nest annually on South Carolina beaches.

The most prevalent species to nest in South Carolina is the state reptile, the Loggerhead (Caretta caretta). Only a few Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and the Green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtle nests have been recorded in South Carolina. A fourth species, Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) is also found in SC waters, but does not nest here.

Learn more:

South Carolina Deparment of Natural Resources Marine Turtle Conservation Program
Wildlife Diversity Section / Endangered Species Located at Fort Johnson on James Island, Charleston, South Carolina. Great information about their research and management projects including the volunteer nest monitoring programs throughout South Carolina. Be sure to see the wonderful videos of sea turtles swimming, the great photos of the loggerhead release at Edisto, and the maps that track the "satellite" turtles. For "turtle news" from all of the sea turtle monitoring communities along the SC coast, see Loggerheadlines in the Publications section.
Post Office Box 12559
Charleston, SC 29422
Phone: (843) 953-9015
Folly Beach Turtle Watch Program
A popular tourist site, Folly Beach is also home to about 4000 loggerhead sea turtle eggs each summer. You can follow their season on their Tracks & Nests page. This site also has an extensive list of links to other sea turtle Web sites in and near South Carolina, as well as beyond: national and international sites.
P.O. Box 1049
Folly Beach, SC 29439
Cape Island Turtle Project
With an average of 1000 nests per year, Cape Island, part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge near McClellanville, SC, is the most significant loggerhead nesting beach north of Cape Canaveral.
Fripp Island Turtle Nest Protection Program
Hunting Island State Park
Located near Beaufort, Hunting Island State Park rangers lead turtle talks and other turtle-related programs for the public. For more information, contact the park nature center at 843-838-7437.
Loggerhead Sea Turtles
(Town of Kiawah Island)
With approximately 200 nests each season, Kiawah is the most "popular" sea turtle nesting island near Charleston.

Where to Read More About Them:

Carr, Archie, (1955, 1979). The Windward Road. NY: Albert A. Knoph, Inc..
Carr, Archie The Sea Turtle: So Excellent a Fishe. Retrieved from:
Davidson, Osha Fire in the Turtle House: The Green Sea Turtle and the Fate of the Ocean.. Retrieved from:

Last Modified: Wednesday November 13, 2019 11:18 AM