Strandings on Folly Beach 2004

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's experience with strandings is duplicated all along the SC coast. The highest percentage of strandings in the state are on Charleston's four beaches, mostly on Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island. Most 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 2004
MANY THANKS to all of you who have helped us with strandings. Some of you are Crew members (Judi, Linda B, Judy K, Cathy, Linda M), but many of you are anonymous passers-by, otherwise enjoying Folly until you see the turtle and say "I'll help" ... and you do.  THANK YOU ALL.
DateLocationSpeciesSizeCondition

June 13
1105-ELoggerheadApprox. 28" x 26"Appeared "healthy" -- no wounds/injuries or other external indication of cause of death

June 14
Washout-ELoggerheadApprox. 27" x 26"Appeared "healthy" -- no wounds/injuries; moderate barnacle load

June 21
County Park-WLoggerheadApprox. 32" x 30"Long gash (probable propeller strike) from top of front left flipper to top of bottom right flipper. Aside from awful injury, turtle had healthy appearance.

August 24
701-EKemp's RidleyApprox. 19" x 19"Missing head, right front flipper almost severed; scutes peeling.

September 8
703-WKemp's RidleyApprox. 25" x 27"Missing head, front flippers.