The 2024 Holden Beach Turtle Shirts are available!

You Can Support Our Efforts to Help the Turtles!

Celebrating 35 Years of Sea Turtle Conservation on Holden Beach!!

Shirts are now available at The Lighthouse Gifts Inc. on the Holden Beach causeway, at Turtle Talk and Turtle Time this summer and by mail - order shirts and other merchandise here!

About Us

The Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program
, (Turtle Patrol) 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).

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.

About Us

Found a mother turtle laying a nest? A stranded or injured sea turtle and/or unattended hatchlings?

Call the HBTWP Stranding Team at:
910-754-0766   24/7/365

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The Statistics For 2024
Current Nest Count
False Crawls
Total Known Eggs
Total Baby Turtles to Ocean

Most Recent News:

They are here!

posted: May 19, 2024, 1:55 PM

After one false crawl in late April and all the islands around us reporting nests....FINALLY, our first nest was found on Saturday May 18. If that wasn't enough on Sunday May 19, we had TWO more nests and a false crawl. It's safe to say the season has begun. The to read more of this news article.

We're still waiting

posted: May 10, 2024, 11:46 AM

Waiting...waiting...waiting. We still have not had our first nest of the season. There has been a nest on Oak Island---first in the state. Last year our first nest was May 12. In 2020 it was May 11. The earliest we've ever recorded was May 8 in 2021 The most frequent to read more of this news article.

The 2024 Sea Turtle Season has Started

posted: May 1, 2024, 6:36 PM

Officially the sea turtle season on Holden Beach is May 1 through October 31, but this year the turtles appear to be anxious to get it started! Last week on April 23 we had our first false crawl of the season. The stranding phone got a call (thank you) that to read more of this news article.

Dates set for summer educational programs

posted: March 28, 2024, 4:43 PM

We've set our dates for our traditional summer educational programs. Turtle Talk for all ages will be held on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. from June 19 through August 24. Children's Turtle Time will be at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays June 26 through August 7. This is for children 3-6 to read more of this news article.

Turtle Season will be here soon!

posted: February 9, 2024, 4:56 PM

The 2024 Turtle Season on Holden Beach will start on May 1. If you're interested in becoming a HBTP volunteer, now is the time to apply. Send a message to Pat Cusack our Program Coordinator from this website's Contact page or directly to for an application or to learn to read more of this news article.

Donation to the Turtle Hospital

posted: February 2, 2024, 2:22 PM

The Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program (also known as the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol) recently donated to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (KBSTRRC). Sick or injured sea turtles found on our beach are taken to this turtle hospital in Surf City, NC for care and rehabilitation. to read more of this news article.

Historical Data
About Us

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 Project Coordinator to ask about nests. This is for the safety of the turtles!

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