Share the Beach with Alabama Sea Turtles
For a few months each year, the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico are visited by thousands of special guests. While all of our guests are special, the ones we’re referring to are thousands of baby sea turtles.
The beaches along the Alabama Gulf Coast,from the Fort Morgan Peninsula to Orange Beach, are nesting grounds for three types of threatened or endangered species of sea turtles, including loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley and green sea turtles. These turtles can live up to 50 years, reach a weight up to 500 pounds, and measure four feet in length.
To lay their eggs, sea turtles make the annual pilgrimage to the same beach where they hatched. Some of their nests may include more than 100 eggs! In 2014, it was estimated that 7,000 hatchlings made their way from the nest to the water along our coastline between May and October.
During nesting season, it takes hundreds of volunteers to search for and monitor sea turtle nests along our beaches. Each day, Share the Beach volunteers take their turns patrolling the beach, nest-sitting at night when hatching time is near, and keeping supplies and equipment ready.
How Can You Help?
Volunteer! Instill life-long conservation lessons in your family by volunteering for Share the Beach during your vacation.
Adopt a Nest. Make a donation to adopt a nest. Donations help provide educational materials to visitors and school education programs, as well as much-needed equipment.
Share the Beach License Plate. When you renew your license plate, opt for a Share the Beach tag. Contributions provide valuable resources to the initiative.
Be Sea Turtle Friendly
- Avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night.
- Turn off outside patio lights and shield indoor lights from shining onto the beach at night. Hatchling sea turtles find their way to the Gulf waters by moonlight or starlight. Building lights along the shore may confuse the hatchlings, drawing them away from the water.
- Do not disturb sea turtle nests.
- Leave sea turtle tracks undisturbed.
- Do not leave trash, beach chairs, umbrellas or tents on the beach. City ordinances require that all beach gear must be removed within one hour after sunset.