Sea turtle nests on Dauphin Island hatch despite tropical storm threat


DAUPHIN ISLAND, Alabama.WKRG) — Good news for marine life enthusiasts along the Gulf Coast. At least 30 sea turtle hatchlings have made it to the water, even after the impact of Tropical Storm Alberto in the Gulf of Mexico caused several nests to be flooded.

Liz Gross of the nonprofit Share The Beach says the flooding can deprive nests of the oxygen they need to hatch.

“Our nests were all flooded, meaning there was water everywhere,” Gross explained. “And we really felt like there was no chance that these nests would actually hatch.”

At 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, Gross was thrilled to hear that at least 30 eggs had hatched on Dauphin Island.

“We were beyond excited that we had a group conversation and everyone was talking about it!” Gross said. “We thought, Yay, yay! Even across the bay, it gives them hope now that maybe their nest has some young that survived.”

And because Beryl increases the risk of rip currents in News 5’s viewing area, Gross has not yet seen any impacts to the nests.

“There were concerns,” she explained. “Actually, the tide came in pretty close to the nest yesterday, and we didn’t know what was going to happen last night, but it seemed to be receding.

“He didn’t get to the nest. And yes, we have dangerous rip currents, but it looks like the waves aren’t as high as we expected.”

Sea turtle nesting season ends in August, but Gross explains that if you plan to visit the beach, be mindful of the sea turtles and other marine life.

“What we say is clean, dark and flat,” she explained. “So pick up your trash after you pack (your) beach gear. Take all that with you. It can’t be left on the beach (it) is an obstacle for our turtles and for people. Keep it flat.

“If you dig a hole, fill it in. Keep it dark. (Sea turtles) use the light of the moon to go to the water. So if you have lights on, they get disoriented and they go to your light instead of the water.”

Gross said she will go to Dauphin Island on Wednesday to dig up all the eggs and see what the status of the rest is.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports and streaming video, visit WKRG News 5.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top