2023 Holden Beach Turtle Patrol T-Shirts Available for Purchase

You Can Support Our Efforts to Help the Turtles!

T-shirt sales are our major fund raising activity each year. There's a new shirt every year. Don't miss out. When they're gone....they're gone!

Help us help the turtles that nest on our beach by purchasing this year's T-shirt.

Order shirts and other merchandise here!

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 TurtleBaby turtle headed to the ocean!

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.



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The Statistics For 2023
Current Nest Count
False Crawls
Total Known Eggs
Total Baby Turtles to Ocean

Most Recent News:

Four nests left

posted: September 17, 2023, 1:06 PM

This year’s turtle season is winding down. We have had 75 nests this season making this a record-breaking year. The only year that the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program has recorded more nests was in 2019 with 105 nests. The next highest years were 1988 and 2013 with 73. There ...click to read more of this news article.

Storm Update

posted: September 3, 2023, 4:36 PM

We quickly went from an abundance of nests and hatchlings to a quiet time for us to reflect on the busy season. Our teams have been out since Friday morning (September 1) evaluating the status of the sea turtle nests on our beach. The King tides, offshore hurricane Franklin and ...click to read more of this news article.

Hatchlings, hatchlings, hatchlings

posted: August 23, 2023, 5:28 PM

Nesting season is almost over on our beach. The last nest laid this year was on August 10 (#69) -- we wait two weeks after that date to make it "officially" closed. But this doesn't mean our work is over, there are many volunteers out on the beach each evening ...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 don't call the emergency number or contact the webmaster to ask about nests. This is for the safety of the turtles!

View Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program Historical Data

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". Like: 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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