Have you seen our new addition at the Atlantis yet? No, we didn’t build a new wing on the hotel, but a sea turtle built a nest on our beach! Guests immediately recognized the tracks through the sand and built a barrier around the nest to keep it from being disturbed, and now the area is roped off for its protection. While we patiently wait for the hatchlings to come make their way to the ocean at Island Mile 5, let’s brush up on some turtle knowledge.
Baby Come Back
You’re not the only one who returns to the Atlantis Lodge generation after generations. It’s common to see sea turtles here on our beach but do you know why? The hatchlings are returning home, to their birthplace, to reproduce. That;s right, sea turtles display amazing migratory behaviors and are able to return as adults to the beach of their birth. Sea turtles have the ability to memorize the characteristics of their birth beach which is why, when hatchlings become adults ten to fifteen years later, both male and females make their way back to their birth place to reproduce. Female sea turtles do not possess the maternal instinct of mammals, so they will abandon their eggs before heading back to the water, leaving the hatchlings to survive without the help of their parents before hatching 2 months later.
As hatchlings, the sea turtle’s natural predators are crabs, seabirds, raccoons, foxes, etc. As sea turtles get older, their predators thin out to just a few such as sharks, orcas, and whales. The biggest threat to the livelihood of sea turtles on the Crystal Coast is, not surprisingly, humans. Sea turtle nests like the ones on our beach are protected to reduce the risk of the eggs being disturbed before they hatch, but as the hatchlings venture out into the ocean, we inadvertently increase their risk of death.
What Can We Do To Help?
When you visit the Atlantis Lodge, or any beach, use less plastic. 8 out of 10 items of trash on beaches are food and beverage related. Abide by laws and efforts to protect sea turtles. Follow the guidelines of our signs as you see them posted on the beaches, and steer clear of the marked nests. Keep your dogs away, as they may get the urge to dig.
Have one of our beach attendants choose a spot in the sand to place your yellow umbrella and chairs. Nests are buried under the sand and my be hard to identify at first. Our attendants will help you choose a safe spot in the sand that won’t disturb the eggs.
The Atlantis practices controlled coastal development. We love our hotel the way it is, and we don’t plan on taking over any more natural habitats for coastal life in the future. Sacrificing expansion for the sake of keeping the Crystal Coast beautiful is just fine with us!
Atlantis Lodge is a family-owned and pet-friendly boutique hotel nestled along the Crystal Coast in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Hosting guests since 1963, the Atlantis Lodge is conveniently located just minutes from Morehead City and historic Beaufort offering guests a relaxing oasis where each room faces the ocean and the beach is just steps away from your room.