South Carolina State Parks - Tour de Turtles Program for 2022!
Travel to four South Carolina State Parks to learn about and hopefully observe three to four different species of sea turtles in the wild! Spot a leatherback or Kemp’s ridley sea turtle from the fishing pier at Myrtle Beach State Park, walk to the jetty at Huntington Beach State Park and observe immature green sea turtles, head to Edisto Beach State Park to witness a nesting loggerhead sea turtle, and last, but not least, attend a sea turtle nest inventory at Hunting Island State Park.
Price: $150 per person. Includes park admission, ranger led programs, and a T-shirt, but does not include food, travel, or overnight accommodations.
Capacity Limit: 20 people
Age: 12 and up- no exceptions
Starting with an indoor presentation, we will use skulls, life-size models, and photos to discuss the differences among four different sea turtle species. Then we will use our keen observational skills as we head to the fishing pier to try and spot turtles coming up for air. This is the time of year that leatherbacks migrate off our coast preying on cannonball jellyfish and the fishing pier can be an incredible place to spot them! Kemp’s ridleys and loggerhead sea turtles may also be observed.
Park Address: Myrtle Beach State Park, 4401 South Kings HWY Myrtle Beach SC 29575
Park Phone Number: 1-843-238-5325
Meeting Place: Activity Center
Date / Time: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 9am to Noon
Take a 3-mile round trip walk along the beach to the jetty: an artificial, paved structure built by the US Army Corps of Engineers to maintain the opening of Murrell’s Inlet. The jetty offers a unique, rocky coastline where one would not normally exist- and a great observation point to view juvenile green sea turtles feeding on the abundant seaweed that grows on the rocks. Along the way, we may encounter other wildlife and sea creatures along the beach, on the boulders, and in tide pools. Possibilities include shorebirds, seabirds, sea anemones, sea stars, whelks, crabs, and more! We may even have the chance to see mink and dolphins, and everyone will enjoy the sunset on the walk back.
Park Address: Huntington Beach State Park, 16148 Ocean HWY Murrells Inlet SC 29576
Park Phone Number: 1-843-237-4440
Meeting Place: North Beach Parking Lot
Date / Time: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 6pm to 9pm
We are honored to have special guest South Carolina author and conservationist Mary Alice Monroe join the group on this excursion.
Park Address: Edisto Beach State Park, 8377 State Cabin Road Edisto Island SC 29438
Park Phone Number: 1-843-869-2156
Meeting Place: Bathhouse on at the beach ( large white building)
Date / Time: Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 8:45pm to midnight (or maybe later)
Sometime in August during the mornings or evenings
Join permitted individuals at a sea turtle nest inventory to find out the success rate of a sea turtle nest. Due to SCDNR sea turtle permit guidelines, we cannot notify participants until 3 nights before the inventory occurs. If your schedule does not permit a last minute trip to Hunting Island, arrangements may be made to attend an inventory at one of the other three parks if those are closer to home.
Park Address: Hunting Island State Park, 2555 Sea Island PKWY Hunting Island SC 29920
Park Phone Number: 1-843-838-2011
Meeting Place: Hunting Island Nature Center
Date / Time: TBA
What to bring to all programs: Water, camera, sunscreen, bug spray, rain gear, and comfortable walking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Huntington recommends closed toe shoes . All programs will continue if it’s raining, but will be delayed or cancelled if thundering or lightning. Binoculars will be helpful but not necessary at Myrtle Beach and Huntington.
No pets allowed at any programs.
Disclaimer: Although sea turtles are present during this time of year, they are wild animals and we cannot guarantee that you will observe them at any of the park programs. Participants will be required to sign a liability waiver. Refunds will not be given for missed program dates. The program is subject to change. We will contact participants if any changes occour.
For more information, contact Ann Wilson at email@example.com
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