MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Over 10 sea turtle nests were found within Myrtle Beach city limits this season, according to city officials.
The City of Myrtle Beach said 11 nests were found in the area, all of which belonged to loggerhead turtles. Officials also said the city saw seven “false crawls” this year where a turtle came ashore, but changed her mind and did not lay eggs.
The city added that the nest success rate was also 45% lower in 2020 due to storm surge from Hurricane Isaias. The overall number of nests is also down from 26 last season, which included seven rare green sea turtle nests.
Baby turtles need to crawl back to the ocean on their own to set their internal compass. Sea turtles return to the same shore where they were born to lay eggs.
It is illegal to disturb or harasses sea turtles, with penalties typically ranging from thousands of dollars in fines or jail time.
South Carolina’s official sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 until Oct. 31 each year.