Every year, from May through October, three species of sea turtles nest on the beaches of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Our Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley and Green Sea Turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act and it’s against state law to disturb nesting sea turtles, their hatchlings, or their nests. “Share The Beach” is an Alabama Gulf Coast conservation program dedicated to helping increase sea turtle survival while supporting hands-on volunteers who work hard to protect nesting areas.
The program also offers an “Adopt-A-Nest” sponsorship that many parents and grandparents use to teach kids the importance of conservation. All “Adopt-A-Nest” sponsors receive a certificate and information about their particular nest, plus a final report at the end of the nesting season. There’s a choice of sponsorships ranging from a $10 Hatchling Student Sponsor to a $250 Shoreline Sponsor. You can also make a one-time donation online. What a great gift idea for the upcoming holidays, especially considering the aftermath of the BP Oil Spill. Visitors to the Alabama Gulf can also do their part by following a few quick tips:
· Avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night.
· At night, turn off outside patio lights and shield indoor lights from shining onto the beach.
· Do not disturb sea turtle nests.
· Leave sea turtle tracks undisturbed.
· Do not leave trash on the beach.
For complete information about volunteer opportunities, sponsorships and online donations, go to www.alabamaseaturtles.com.
Photo by Carrie, one of the wonderful Share the Beach volunteers.