Each year, just as endangered sea turtles make their way to the white-sand beaches of Alabama’s shoreline to nest, hundreds of volunteers gear up for another season of the Share the Beach activities. During hatching season, from May to October, these small creatures become our neighbors as they hatch from their nest. Volunteers assist our temporary residents in making the perilous journey to the water. But, there’s much more to the Share the Beach program than being onsite during a hatching.
The Share the Beach program was formed in 2005 by the Friends of the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge in Gulf Shores, Alabama. On January 17, 2018, the Friends Group and the Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF) announced that ACF is the new home for the Share the Beach program!
Just as in the past, Share the Beach volunteers will continue to patrol the beach, educate the public and school groups, conduct late-night nest observations and assist with supply and equipment preparations. Starting in the 2018 nesting season, they will do that as part of the Alabama Coastal Foundation’s other amazing programs.
The Share the Beach program follows protocols set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the federal endangered species recovery permit. Volunteers help protect the nesting sea turtles and their habitat under these guidelines by using donations from sponsors and from the Adopt-a-Nest program. The program does not receive federal funding.
The dedicated volunteers of the Share the Beach program help ensure the support and protection of these endangered giants of the ocean when they are just tiny turtles beginning their journey. For more on how you can take part, please visit the How You Can Volunteer page or the Adopt-A-Nest page.