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About Us
The Holden Beach Turtle Watch, or Turtle Patrol as it is usually referred to, was founded in 1989 to monitor and protect the sea turtle population on Holden Beach. This all volunteer, nonprofit conservation organization operates under the authority of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. The program currently has approximately 65 members. Learn more..

Baby Loggerhead Turtle
Baby Loggerhead Turtle

What we do!

Starting in May, volunteers begin a dawn patrol of the beach searching for turtle crawls and possible nests. Once a sea turtle crawl is found, a team of turtle patrol volunteers assembles at the crawl location to find the eggs. If the nest is in an unsafe location, the nest will be carefully moved to a safer area on the beach.  The nest site is then covered with a protective grating and marked off with stakes, ribbon and a warning sign. For the next 50-70 days of incubation the nest will be monitored for signs of an impending hatching.  At that time, turtle patrol members will start a nightly watch on the nest until all of the hatchlings are released. The nest is then opened and an inventory is taken to account for any unhatched or non-fertile egg and insure that all live babies make it to the ocean.  This process is repeated with each and every nest. The season ends in October when the last nest hatches.

Call our 24/7 Stranding Team at
910- 754-0766

Please only call this number for turtle emergencies!

Found a mother laying a nest? A stranded or injured sea turtle and/or unattended hatchlings? Call the HBTP Stranding Team at: 910-754-0766

Beach Home Refrigerator Magnet

This refrigerator magnet should be in every beach front home. If not contact your rental agent or any turtle patrol member you see on the beach.

T-Shirts now available by mail!

Even if you can't make it to Holden Beach this summer, you can own this year’s HBTP Shirt. The shirts are now available by mail.

Send your name, address, shirt size and check (sorry, we can't do credit cards) to:

Holden Beach Turtle Patrol
PO Box 487
Supply, NC 28462

Available sizes:
Youth XS
(4-5), S (6-8), M (10-12) & L (12-14) $15

Adults S, M, L and XL $17

Adult 2X and 3X $19

Include postage:
$6 (1 shirt), $12 (2-7 shirts) $18 (8 or more shirts)

Make checks payable to HBTP

For questions about shirts send us an email

The Statistics For 2016
Current Nest Count
False Crawls
Total Known Eggs
Total Baby Turtles to Ocean

Most Recent Updates & News:

Started with a bang!

posted: May 26, 2016, 7:14 PM

The sea turtle season on Holden Beach has finally started---and in a big way! Our riders have been up early everyday since May 1 looking for crawls made by the mother turtles. They've found only two "false crawls"----mom's coming ashore but not laying eggs---up until today! This morning our rider ...click to read more of this news article.

It Won't Be Long Now....

posted: May 10, 2016, 6:50 PM

Both Georgia and South Carolina have had their first turtle nests of the season. And, although our morning ATV riders haven't seen signs of any turtles on Holden Beach, a false crawl (tracks from the mother turtle but no nest) was found this morning on Onslow Beach at Camp Lejeune. ...click to read more of this news article.

Nesting Season is here!

posted: April 28, 2016, 10:50 AM

Remember it is turtle nesting season. The water temperatures at Holden Beach are going up, which hopefully means we’ll see momma turtles on our beach soon. Our riders will be starting their morning patrols early next week looking for marks in the sand (called crawls) left by mother turtles laying ...click to read more of this news article.

Historical Data

We are excited to provide video footage of a turtle nest hatching. There are 6 six video clips available for your viewing. We hope you enjoy...
Click here to visit 'The Turtle Patrol Cinema'.

Holden Beach

The Town of Holden Beach is located midway between Wilmington, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina -- about 40 minutes driving from each. The Town is situated on an Atlantic coastal barrier island, facing south onto the Long Bay region of Brunswick County. I-95 from the north and south, I-40 from the west and US-17 south from Wilmington or north from Myrtle Beach leads to Holden Beach -- approximately 3 hours from Raleigh, or 4 hours from Charlotte or Greensboro, or 7 hours from Asheville. For more map detail of Brunswick County, go to Brunswick Islands, and then click on "Maps".

Friend Us On Facebook for updatesLike: Holden Beach Town Hall Facebook page for turtle updates.

Visit the Holden Beach Town Hall Web Site

Thank you for buying our t-shirts at turtle talk and at the Lighthouse Gift Shop. This is how we make money to finance the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program (like buying a new 4 wheel drive ATV). Thank all of you who let us use your walkways and visited with us on the beach night after night. You will never know how much your support and friendship on the beach means to all of us.

If you would like to contact us or make a donation, please write to us at:

Holden Beach Turtle Patrol
PO Box 487
Supply N.C. 28462

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