May 1st was the start of sea turtle nesting season on the Georgia coast. Our Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project volunteers walk the beach every morning looking for turtle tracks. Once tracks are found, the nest is located and blocked off with caution tape.
50 days after the nest is found, volunteers start sitting with the nest at night, awaiting the 100 or so babies that will emerge any night. When the nest hatches, or “boils” (so many small bodies moving makes the sand look like it’s boiling), volunteers supervise and protect babies as they make their way to the water. Following the boil, volunteers wait an additional five days before performing an excavation to allow any late hatchlings to emerge naturally.
Finally, an excavation is performed, where volunteers carefully dig into the nest and extract all hatched and unhatched eggs as well as any turtles left in the nest. At that time, any live stragglers are released, or if we are ready for a new hatchling, we keep one to be our marine debris ambassador for a few years, like Ike—who hatched on July 24, 2020.
You can meet Ike at the science center.
Come check out the new facility and what the future will bring, while connecting with our educators as they build the exhibits. Experience a self-guided tour offering a unique Behind the Scenes look at our new center.
We’re open Thursday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. So you have a bit time to spend with us, admissions end at 3:30 p.m.
Admission is $10 per person, people four and under free. (keeps the lights on and the animals fed)
Masks and social distancing are still required.
Visiting both Tybee’s Lighthouse and Science Center? Due to limited parking at the lighthouse, when you visit us please park in the North Beach parking lot.
Tybee Island Marine Science Center
37 Meddin Drive
Tybee Island, Georgia 31328