Share the Beach training for sea turtle monitoring opening soon
Each year, volunteers along Alabama’s Gulf Coast take part in the Share the Beach program to help threatened and endangered sea turtles.
The initiative was founded in 2005 by the Friends of the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge. It's Alabama's sea turtle conservation program which protects and promotes the livelihood and habitat of sea turtles along the Alabama Coast. Bon Secour group asked the Alabama Coastal Foundation to oversee the program in 2018.
The ACF says training to be a volunteer for the Share the Beach initiative opens this month. The training session for Dauphin Island is set for 6 p.m. March 21 at the Shelby Auditorium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The training meeting at Gulf Shores is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 23 at the Erie Meyer Civic Center.
Organizers say returning volunteers and anyone interested in becoming a new volunteer should plan to attend one of those informational meetings.
Volunteer registration for the 2023 nesting season will open on March 23 at 8pm.
Click here for more information.
Additionally, the ACF shares these tips on how to be sea turtle friendly:
- Avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night.
- Turn off outside patio lights and shield indoor lights from shining onto the beach at night.
- Do not disturb sea turtle nests. Sea turtle nesting season is May 1- October 31.
- Keep your distance (at least 30 feet) from adult turtles that come onto the beach to nest.
- Leave sea turtle tracks undisturbed.
- Do not leave beach gear, holes or trash on the beach.
- Volunteer and also participate in the Adopt-A-Nest program.