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About Us
The Holden Beach Turtle Watch, or Turtle Patrol as it is usually referred to, was founded in 1989 to monitor and protect the sea turtle population on Holden Beach. This all volunteer, nonprofit conservation organization operates under the authority of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (ES Permit 21ST11). The program currently has approximately 65 members. Learn more..

Baby Loggerhead Turtle
Baby Loggerhead Turtle

What we do!

Starting in May, volunteers begin a dawn patrol of the beach searching for turtle crawls and possible nests. Once a sea turtle crawl is found, a team of turtle patrol volunteers assembles at the crawl location to find the eggs. If the nest is in an unsafe location, the nest will be carefully moved to a safer area on the beach.  The nest site is then covered with a protective grating and marked off with stakes, ribbon and a warning sign. For the next 50-70 days of incubation the nest will be monitored for signs of an impending hatching.  At that time, turtle patrol members will start a nightly watch on the nest until all of the hatchlings are released. The nest is then opened and an inventory is taken to account for any unhatched or non-fertile egg and insure that all live babies make it to the ocean.  This process is repeated with each and every nest. The season ends in October when the last nest hatches.

Call our 24/7 Stranding Team at 910-754-0766

Please only call this number for turtle emergencies!

Found a mother laying a nest? A stranded or injured sea turtle and/or unattended hatchlings? Call the HBTWP Stranding Team at:

This refrigerator magnet should be in every beach front home. If not contact your rental agent or any turtle patrol member you see on the beach.


T-Shirts now available by mail!

Even if you can't make it to Holden Beach this summer, you can own this year's HBTWP Shirt. 

The shirts are now available by mail.

For information about purchasing shirts email us: HBTurtleshirts@hotmail.com

Send your name, address, shirt size and check (sorry, we can't do credit cards) to:

Holden Beach Turtle Patrol
PO Box 487
Supply, NC 28462

New shirt prices, styles, and we now have long sleeve shirts and hats:

Short sleeve
All Youth shirts XS to Large $17
Adult S,M,L,XL  $20
Adult 2X, 3X  $22

Long Sleeve
Adult Long Sleeve S,M,L,XL  $25
Adult Long Sleeve 2X  $27
Adult Long Sleeve XXXL   $28

HBTWP hats-- $22

1-2 Items $8.95 Flat rate envelope 
3-7 shirts $16.10
All others $20.00

Make checks payable to: 

Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program or HBTWP

For information about purchasing shirts email us: HBTurtleshirts@hotmail.com

The Statistics For 2022
Current Nest Count
False Crawls
Total Known Eggs
Total Baby Turtles to Ocean

Most Recent Updates & News:

Join the Turtle Patrol

posted: January 21, 2023, 2:02 PM

We are currently accepting applications for new volunteers. Training for HBTWP volunteers will begin in April and continue through the turtle season this summer. For more information on becoming a volunteer/trainee contact Pat Cusack, Project Coordinator at hbtwp.pc@icloud.com or the Contact Us section of this website. ...click to read more of this news article.

Helping to Support the Turtle Hospital

posted: January 15, 2023, 7:27 PM

We recently made a donation to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (frequently called the turtle hospital) near Topsail Island, NC. Their mission is to conserve and protect marine turtles through rescues, rehabilitation and release of sick and injured turtles. When the HBTP becomes aware of a ...click to read more of this news article.

Donation to Sea Biscuit

posted: January 8, 2023, 10:27 AM

The HBTP gives back to partner organization. Project Director, Pat Cusack recently gave a $1000 donation from the HBTP to Mary Ellen Rogers, President of the Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter https://www.seabiscuitwildlifeshelter.org/ on Oak Island. This is a non-profit wild bird rehabilitation organization that provides medical treatment for wild birds that ...click to read more of this news article.

Historical Data

As recommended by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, it is the policy of the HBTWP to NOT disclose the locations or potential hatch dates of active turtle nests on our beach. A listing of nest locations will NOT be published in newspapers, on this website or on other social media. Please donít call the emergency number or contact the webmaster to ask about nests. This is for the safety of the turtles!

*** You can view Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program Historical Data here. ***


We are excited to provide video footage of a turtle nest hatching. There are 6 six video clips available for your viewing. We hope you enjoy...
Click here to visit 'The Turtle Patrol Cinema'.

Holden Beach

The Town of Holden Beach is located midway between Wilmington, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina -- about 40 minutes driving from each. The Town is situated on an Atlantic coastal barrier island, facing south onto the Long Bay region of Brunswick County. I-95 from the north and south, I-40 from the west and US-17 south from Wilmington or north from Myrtle Beach leads to Holden Beach -- approximately 3 hours from Raleigh, or 4 hours from Charlotte or Greensboro, or 7 hours from Asheville. For more map detail of Brunswick County, go to Brunswick Islands, and then click on "Maps".

Friend Us On Facebook for updatesLike: Town of Holden Beach Facebook page for turtle updates.

Visit the Town of Holden Beach web site

Thank you for buying our t-shirts at turtle talk and at Lighthouse Gifts. This is how we make money to finance the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program (like buying a new 4 wheel drive ATV). Thank all of you who let us use your walkways and visited with us on the beach night after night. You will never know how much your support and friendship on the beach means to all of us.

If you would like to contact us or make a donation, please write to us at:

Holden Beach Turtle Patrol
PO Box 487
Supply N.C. 28462

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