Strandings on Folly Beach 2001

The presence of sea turtles on Folly Beach is not always a welcome sight.

One of our most dreaded sightings is a stranded sea turtle -- one that has come ashore, not to nest, but as the result of injury, disease, or death at sea.

Folly had 9 strandings during the 2001 season; 3 on June 30th.

Folly's experience with stranding is duplicated all along the SC coast. There were 136 reported strandings in South Carolina during 2000, and 94 in 1999. 59 of last year's were on Charleston's four beaches; 36 on Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island. Most of the strandings occur between May 1st and July 31st -- the time when offshore turtle and human activities converge.

The loss of every sea turtle that has survived the 20-30 years to reach their sub-adult and adult life stage is significant. Not only is that individual lost, but its potential to reproduce is gone. For an endangered species, this is especially critical. As one biologist has said, "Losing an adult turtle is like losing 1,000 eggs on the beach."

Strandings 2001
DateLocationSpeciesSizeCondition
May 171105-ELoggerheadImmature
(approx. 28" x 27")
Head missing; large barnacles.
May 19501-EKemp's Ridley
See Kemps info at:
  • CRESLI (Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island)
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Office of Protected Resources - NOAA Fisheries - NMFS
  • Remains
    approx. 10" x 9"
    Approx. 1/2 carapace missing;
    right front flipper tagged PPD929, NMFS Lab Vir Key, Miami, FL 33149

    Tag report:  This turtle originally tagged when it was caught in a trawl net on 9/28/98 about 2 miles east of Woodland Beach on Delaware Bay, Kent County, Delaware.
    June 28CGS-ELoggerheadImmature
    (approx. 25" x 24")
    No apparent injury; fairly heavy barnacle load.
    June 301619-ELoggerheadImmature
    (approx. 29" x 28")
    Head wound; neck laceration/hemorrhage.
    June 30813-ELoggerheadImmature
    (approx. 30" x 28")
    No apparent injury.
    June 30CGS-E/RiverspointLoggerheadImmature
    (approx. 28" x 27")
    No apparent injury.
    July 15Summer Place-ELoggerheadImmature
    (approx. 28" x 27")
    No apparent injury.
    August 5305-ELoggerheadImmature
    (approx. 28" x 27")
    Head & 3 flippers missing; large barnacles.
    August 181000-EKemps Ridleyimmature
    (approx. 16" x 17")
    No apparent injury; moderately decomposed.