Sea turtle challenge

Did you know that it takes about 60 days for sea turtle eggs to mature? So, July is the month we start to see hatchlings emerge from their nests on Hilton Head Island! I’ll be celebrating by posting some of my photos of sea turtles on Instagram using the hashtag #putneyseaturtleproject. Here’s one of my favorites of the first hawksbill sea turtle I ever encountered while snorkeling on St. John island. The scores of small fish made me think of brush strokes in a Van Gogh painting!

I invite you and the kids in your life to join me in celebrating sea turtles with one or more of the following activities:

Sea Turtle Artwork challenge

  • Using your favorite media, draw a picture of a sea turtle. Come up with a catchy title, snap a picture and post it to Instagram. Tag it with the hashtag:


Green clean-up challenge: pick a spot like the beach, playground, or a park where there’s some litter or dog poop laying around that needs to be picked up. 

  • Get a couple friends together – or work on your own.
  • Grab a bag or a bucket (you can always use a small baggie or other plastic bag to put over your hand).
  • Set a timer (15 minutes or an hour – you choose) and see how much trash you can collect and dispose of properly!

Sea Turtle-Friendly Reminders:

  • Fill in all the holes you dig on the beach and knock down sand castles before you leave… if baby sea turtles fall into these holes on the way to the ocean, they won’t be able to get out.
  • Put your stuff away… remove unattended beach furniture and other items from the beach at night… these can trap baby sea turtles and prevent them from reaching the ocean.
  • Remove your trash… and trash left by others! Hint: use a dog poop bag (available at many beach entrances) to cover your hand while picking up litter on the beach.
  • Use red flashlights when walking on the beach after dark. Hatchlings will follow the brightest light and can become stranded inland where predators will get them when the sun rises.
  • Never touch or pick up a hatchling on its way to the ocean. They need to make it through the breaking waves on their own to set the magnetite in their brains–this is their navigational compass!

For more information about sea turtles, check out my webpage which includes pictures of a nest relocation on Hilton Head Island, plus some of my favorite underwater photos taken while snorkeling with green sea turtles and the occasional hawksbill in the Caribbean!

The sea turtle project

Cheers and Happy 4th of July!


P.S. Watch for my upcoming podcast on Solve It! For Kids: How can YOU help save baby sea turtles?

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