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Hole Patrol

toy shovel in sand
Sea turtle nest warning sign

What is Hole Patrol?

Hole Patrol is a local program that was started by the author, Mystica Green, in which people walk the beach to fill in holes, flatten sandcastles, pick up debris and educate beachgoers. She learned that other parts of Florida along with other states have similar programs. She researched and contacted several organizations to see if there was anything like that in her area. To her surprise, nothing like this existed for the beach-nesting sea turtle residents in her local town - a place where over 1,000 sea turtles come to nest every year. She has brought her story to others through her debut book, ‘Hope’s Beach Rescue: A Tale of Saving Sea Turtles’, in order to spread the word on how everyone can help save these endangered creatures by doing simple things.

Why is it Important?

Sea turtles have very poor vision on land and have a difficult time navigating their way around obstacles. There have been instances where early morning beachgoers have found sea turtles stranded in man-made holes, unable to get out. Sadly, there have also been times when the sea turtle was found too late and perished in the hole.

Sandcastles and debris left by humans act like huge roadblocks to mothers and hatchlings alike. A sea turtle will try to come onto the beach to nest a few times. If something like a sandcastle or other debris is in her way, she might turn around and go back into the ocean, only to drop her eggs there, where they will all perish. Hatchlings trying to make their way to the ocean for the first time struggle so much that when they come to an obstacle, they might try to go around it, which sends them off in the wrong direction, never making it to the ocean.

How Can I Help?

Every time you go to the beach, you can remember the Hole Patrol motto - Fill. Flatten. Clean. Fill in your holes, flatten your sandcastles, and clean up your belongings you brought with you.

Stay off the beach from sunset to sunrise during nesting season. The presence of humans on the beaches at night deters sea turtles from nesting. ​

Light out for the locals. Lights from buildings and streets alike greatly affect the nesting AND hatching process. So please be mindful of the locals and keep lights to a minimum.

Educate your family, friends and other beachgoers of your new found knowledge so they can help too!

Rules to Remember!

If you see a sea turtle, stay far away from it so as to not scare it. If the sea turtle appears to be sick, injured or dead, call your local Sea Turtle Rescue. Remember that these are endangered creatures and it is illegal to touch, harm or harass them or their nests.

Stay off the dunes. The sand dunes are a delicate ecosystem and are protected by law.

Give the turtle nests some space. Don’t get too close to a nest. While they are marked or roped off, it is possible the area immediately around the area is part of the nest.

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