MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Myrtle Beach city staff discovered a green sea turtle nest in the sand dunes near 82nd Avenue Monday morning.
A post on the city’s Facebook page says the workers noticed several false crawls early Sunday, and discovered the real nest just after dawn Monday. Tracks show that the turtle tried at least eight different locations before laying her eggs near 82nd Avenue.
State Park Ranger Ann Wilson and her team responded and found 142 golf-ball-sized green sea turtle eggs, the city reports. The team relocated the nest to a section of the beach with less traffic, allowing the eggs to hatch undisturbed.
Monday’s discovery was the 11th sea turtle nest to be found within the city limits and marks 193 nests in both Horry and Georgetown Counties. In all, South Carolina has recorded 4,748 turtle nests this year, but only four of those are by the rare green sea turtle, according to the city’s post.
All four green sea turtle nests have been discovered along the Grand Strand. SCDNR reports two of the nests were located in Garden City, one was found in Pawleys Island, and the Myrtle Beach nest makes four.
The city reminds people on the beach that it is illegal to disturb a nesting sea turtle or her nest. Federal penalties for violations include jail time and fines of up to $15,000 for each offense. Feeding or touching turtles in any way, including shining a light on them, is considered a disturbance and is unlawful.
Turtle hatchlings should not be picked up. The nesting season continues through October.