MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Beach season is full-swing and so is sea turtle season. The Grand Strand is home to the endangered species, and groups of volunteers work hard to preserve sea turtle nests.
Every morning volunteers walk the beaches looking for turtle tracks that could lead them to nests buried in the sand. The most recent find happened Tuesday morning in Garden City. A group of volunteers with South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts (SCUTE ) spotted the nest with 126 ping pong sized eggs.
A representative with SCUTE says nests are either kept in place or relocated somewhere considered to be a safer spot for the eggs to hatch. That was the case with the recent find in Garden City. Volunteers moved the nest onto higher ground about 40 ft south of the original spot.
Groups like SCUTE are out there to mark and protect the underground nests. Volunteers place screens above the sand to protect the eggs from most predators, but the holes in the screen are large enough for turtles to climb through when they hatch .
Myrtle Beach State Park has also had turtle activity recently.
"State Park, we've had two (nests) since Saturday, so we're really doing well," said Ann Wilson with Myrtle Beach State Park. "This nest right here is from the City Of Myrtle Beach which is the only nest from the city, and the rest are further south,"
The Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest found in Garden City is the 19th nest reported in the Grand Strand so far this year. Wilson says the first hatchlings should happen mid-to-late July.