NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Activists are warning beachgoers to fill in holes in the sand and knock down sand castles at the beach.
“We‘ve been getting reporters this week especially because everyone is out on the beach," said Linda Mataya, leader of the Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol. "The kids are out of school and it’s tourist season. And we’ve been getting a lot of reports of gigantic holes on the beach. And when I say gigantic, I say five to 10 feet across and three to five feet deep.”
It is strenuous enough for turtles to walk on the beach, and when you add in obstacles from holes and sand castles, it makes it even more difficult for the animals.
“If they fall in that hole, they flip over. They wont be able to right themselves and complete the egg laying process,” Mataya explains. “If there wasn’t anyone out checking on them when the sun comes up, you can feel how hot the sun gets. They’re literally going to cook out here.”
A single turtle can lay up to 1,000 eggs per summer, but most don’t survive that long.
“Unfortunately, statistics have proven that only one in 1,000 eggs survive to sexual maturity. So if she lays 1,000 eggs, that means only one of her offspring will survive,” said Mataya.
If you spot a track in the sand from a sea turtle or a nest of eggs on the beach, call your local sea turtle patrol and they will come to protect the nest.