We are very excited to announce that we have shorebirds nesting already on our state park beach! I had the pleasure in assisting DNR and other volunteers with protecting our shorebird nesting site.
The Hurricane this past fall took our sand from the beach and pushed it up and onto the dunes, creating prime nesting habitat for our shorebirds.
We put up 68 posts, all with shorebird nesting signs, informing the public that the area behind the sign is off limits due to Wilson Plover and Least Tern nests. The posts start right after the campground and continue around the inlet.
We currently have the several pairs of Wilson Plover's nesting but you wouldn't know it if you didn't know what to look for! Wilson Plover's are a very small bird and they lay their eggs in the sand. The eggs are speckled to camouflage with the sand and are very hard to see! If you see a Wilson Plover looking like they have a broken wing, it is a defense mechanism. They are trying to draw you away from their nest - so if you see this, please back up and give it room.
We are very happy to have our shorebirds back nesting!
I created a fun video to help educate on the importance of saying no to plastic straws! With my entry I could also win some reuseable goodies! Glass Dharma makes reusable glass straws and helps to educate individuals on saying no to using plastic straws. I love my Glass Dharma drinking straw, the great thing is it also has a lifetime guarantee! This April, they are hosting an Earth day contest that is open to anyone who wants to create a video or a graphic. This one-minute video I created helps to educate on the issues we face with plastic straws as well as what you can do! I had a lot of fun creating this video, with the first time feature of Miss Myrtle the talkin' Turtle.
Check out below for my one-minute entry for Glass Dharma's contest! Will you join us in saying no to plastic straws?
For more information on Glass Dharma: http://glassdharma.com/
Check out this short video I made about the Morris Island Boat tour that I got to take part in! You can read more about the tour in the post below.
On March 29th I attended the Morris Island Boat Tour, also on the cruise was fellow EBSP turtle volunteers Craig & Nona. The tour left from the Charleston Water Taxi, who donated the use of their boat, residing next to the South Carolina Aquarium. We made the cruise to Morris Island an uninhabited landmass, often used as a party location for boaters. During the boat ride, there were several speakers, including Dr. Barbara Beckingham, who is an assistant professor at the College of Charleston, who brought to light the amount of microplastics in our water, including the Charleston Harbour. Then Barent Roth, of The New School of New York City, who spoke about the microplastic skimmers that can be made to test for microplastics in the water. A good majority of microplastics will be near the surface of the water on a calm day. We pulled two skimmers beside the boat as we made our way to the island but it was a fairly windy and choppy day so we didn’t discover many plastics as we were also only testing by what we could see without a microscope. Microplastics range from anything less than 5mm in length.
There was a study done on the fish and microplastics in the Charleston Harbour and it was found that 32 out of 35 fish species had some amount of microplastics in their gut, that number shocked everyone!
Prior to our arrival on the island we celebrated the launch of the new SCAquarium app to track garbage through the site anecdata.org. Created by the MDI Biological Laboratory, Anecdata.org is an online citizen science community that hosts many different citizen science projects from around the world including the project by the South Carolina Aquarium.
When we arrived to Morris Island we grabbed one bag for garbage and the other for recyclable material and used the app to track the amount of trash we picked up. We discovered a lot of Styrofoam in varying sizes, beer cans, glass bottles, plastic bags, rope, etc.
It was a great day to be on a boat cruise while hearing from experts in the field, all while picking up garbage to help clean up Morris Island and kick-off the SCAquarium app and the 2017 Plastic Summit.
Hello blog readers and fellow turtle enthusiasts!
I made it back down to Edisto, South Carolina on the 28th of March. I came down earlier this year because I attended the Plastic Summit held by the South Carolina Aquarium. I also had the pleasure of going on a boat trip to Morris Island to kickstart the summit and to test out the new app launched by the SC aquarium. I'll be posting more on that later!
When I first arrived to Edisto I went to the beach to see what the renourishment looked like. We definitely have a lot more beach now in the campground area. After the campground, the new sand tapers off until the old beach remains. It will be interesting to see what the turtles think of it!
I am so happy to be back in the south with palm trees, sunshine & turtles!
Sea Turtle Specialist