On land they have obstacles to overcome dehydration, capture by birds or crabs and humans. In the water they have to face sharks, fish and yet again birds. They also must face fishing nets, tar balls and plastic garbage. They swim offshore where they surf currents and get caught in seaweed that can carry them for years before returning to waters closer to shore.
Once hatched from the nest, Sea Turtles are on their own. While they are free from parental control their effort to dig themselves out of the sand is a team effort. They place their sights on the brightest horizon and start their trip.
What can you do to help more turtles make it to the ocean?
- Pick up trash on the beach. By keeping beaches clean the track to the ocean is safer.
- Make sure that your garbage is secure. Raccoons actually destroy thousands of eggs each season.
- If you make a day at the beach reduce obstacles in their path. Holes caused by beach furniture, umbrellas and sand castles can trap turtles so during nesting season take a few moments to fill them in after your day at the beach.
- Remember lights out for sea turtles. Since hatch-lings head toward the brightest horizon they can become confused and head the wrong way. Use blinds at night, tint windows and turn off all unnecessary lights. Remember to turn off porch lights.
- Educate yourself on sea turtles if you live near the beach and pass it along to others.
Information obtained from