Turtle Talk

The Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program conducts weekly educational programs on selected Wednesday evenings in June, July and August. Please check the NEWS section of this website for details on dates, times and locations. Seating is limited.

Turtle Talk

The Turtle Talk program focuses on the life cycle of the sea turtle, and how the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program aids in the preservation of sea turtles. A short video presentation will be shown with a question and answer segment to follow. Several turtle artifacts will be on display for viewing and informational handouts are available.

Turtle Talk is open to all family members and is enjoyed by people of all ages.  There is no admission charge but donations are greatly appreciated.  Support for the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program comes solely from donations and the proceeds from the sale of our annual Turtle Patrol T-shirts.

This year’s Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program shirts are available before and after the Wednesday Turtle Talk programs (cash or personal checks accepted) and at Lighthouse Gifts located on the causeway (look for the green awning with pink dots and the pink “Turtle Watch Shirts Here” sign).

Special programs for younger turtle enthusiasts are held Wednesday afternoons in June, July and August on select dates.

These programs will feature age appropriate crafts, stories and activities for children ages 3 to 6 years old. The children will be divided into two groups: ages 3 & 4 and 5 & 6. Each group will learn about the sea turtles that nest on Holden Beach. The younger group will make a turtle craft and the older group will be searching for turtle eggs in the sand.

All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This program is free of charge. Check the NEWS section of this website for details on dates, times and locations.

Children's Turtle Time


Turtle facts
(Caretta caretta)

Large thick head;
broad, short neck

WEIGHT & SIZE 200-400 pounds
FAVORITE FOODS jellyfish, crabs, shrimp
LIFESPAN up to 100 years
NEST SIZE 100 or more eggs
HATCHING Occurs from 55 to 89 days from the date laid
THREATS pollution, poaching, fishing, and habitat loss

more facts...

  • Sea Turtles predate dinosaurs and have existed for over 200 million years.
  • Sea Turtles have lived to be over 100 years old in captivity.
  • Sea Turtles love to eat jelly fish, sponges, algae, sea grasses and crustaceans.
  • Bright house lights that face the ocean will confuse nesting mothers and hatchlings.
  • The population of Sea Turtles is threatened by pollution, poaching, and habitat loss.
  • There are 8 species of Sea Turtles. 5 visit North Carolina: The Loggerhead, Hawksbill,
    Kemp's Ridley, Green and Leatherback.
  • The majority of the nests on Holden Beach are laid by Loggerhead Sea Turtles.
  • A Fine of up to $100,000 and or 1 year in prison is the penalty for harassing a sea turtle or disturbing its nest.
  • The temperature of the sand determines the sex of the hatchlings (the hotter the sand, the more females develop and cooler sand results in more males).
  • The average weight of a mature Loggerhead Turtle is 250 to 400 pounds.
  • Our riders average over 2400 miles a year in routine beach patrols.
You can help!
  • To report mother turtles laying nests, injured or stranded turtles, unattended hatchlings, disturbed nests or harassment of a sea turtle call us at 910-754-0766. Please use this number only for turtle emergencies. 
  • At night before retiring, turn off all lights that face the ocean, including carports, and, if staying up late, close blinds and draperies in oceanfront rooms between May 1st and October 31st.
  • We recommend NO flashlights on the beach. NEVER shine a light directly on a mother turtle, baby turtle or at a nest.

  • Pick up any trash, especially plastic, from the beach. Do not release balloons on the beach.  These items look like jellyfish to sea turtles.
  • If you see a mother turtle or baby turtle on the beach please DO NOT use flash cameras or shine a light on them.
  • If you see a mother turtle on the beach do not touch, follow or make loud noises around her. Mother turtles can be easily frightened and if stressed may go back into the ocean without laying her eggs. Call the HBTWP emergency number immediately.
  • Fill in any large sand hole you dig before nightfall, they could trap a turtle, cause a night or early morning beach walker to fall and possibly break a leg and cause an accident to Turtle Patrol riders in the early morning.
  • It is a Regulation on Holden Beach all unattended beach equipment must be removed from the beach each day between 6 PM. And 7AM.  This insures a clear path for mother turtles to lay their nests.

Mother Turtle

Instructor at Turtle Talk

One of the many exhibits at Turtle Talk

One of the many exhibits at Turtle Talk

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