A beach house Charleston is an excellent place to be if you like sea turtles like loggerheads.  And honestly, who doesn’t love the gentle giants of the surf, who have become beloved mascots of the Lowcountry?

We are right in the midst of turtle nesting season, which lasts from May 1st through the end of October.

If you’re in one of our SC vacation rentals this week, especially a luxury house on the Isle of Palms, you’ll have a chance to see three sea turtles up close and heading back to the wild.

loggerhead near a beach house Charleston

loggerhead near a beach house Charleston

The turtle hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium is releasing three of them  –  two green and a rare Kemp’s ridley –   THIS MORNING (Friday, July 29th) at 10:00 a.m. on the Isle of Palms, at the beach near the Isle of Palms County Park.

The three they have successfully treated and will be releasing are:  Grace, Cherry, and Swash.  One swallowed a fish hook, one had ingested plastics, and the third was found weakened and near death.

This will bring the total number of turtles successfully rehabilitated and released by the Sea Turtle Rescue Program to 198, over the 16 years they’ve been doing it.

This release will make room for more turtles to enter the hospital.  There is more demand than they are currently able to handle.  Thankfully, the turtle hospital is currently undergoing a $5 million expansion.  (The Aquarium, by the way, is a great place to visit while staying in one of our rental homes South Carolina and is perfect for all ages in your Charleston beach house.)

Crowds tend to be massive for these turtle releases, so if you want to go, you’d best get there early.  The last one I went to, over 2,000 people showed up to cheer on the turtles.

loggerhead release near your beach house Charleston

loggerhead release near your beach house Charleston

You can park for a fee in the county park lot, or better yet just walk, bike or ride a golf cart from your beach house Charleston, it’s not far from any of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals.

Here’s more from Live 5 News:  http://www.live5news.com/story/32564341/sc-aquarium-to-release-sea-turtles-at-isle-of-palms-county-park

…and here’s the scoop from the Post & Courier:  http://www.postandcourier.com/20160728/160729405/rehabbed-turtles-to-be-released-friday


As I mentioned in an earlier BLOG, biologists have been hoping for a good year, coming on the heels of 2015 which saw record numbers of loggerhead nests  –  over 5,300 of them.

Well, the news is good.  Preliminary reports from the DNR show that over 5,700 nests have already been laid so far along the South Carolina coast, with several weeks left in the nesting season.  This is the third year with more than 5,000 nests and already an increase of 400 over last season.

Read more about the loggerheads and how people’s attitudes have changed to help insure their survival here:  http://www.postandcourier.com/20160723/160729790/rise-in-turtle-nests-reflects-changing-attitudes

Seeing as we’re right in the middle of nesting season…

It’s time for a friendly reminder for those in a beach house Charleston…

If you are staying in one of our beach rentals Charleston now or later this summer, in particular one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals, you need to be aware of certain laws.  Several ordinances of the City of Isle of Palms are written to offer protection to these magnificent creatures.  They include:

No personal property shall be located within 25 feet of any emergency beach access or any turtle nest.

In addition to any other applicable State or Federal laws, no person shall physically harm, harass, or otherwise disturb any sea turtle (including eggs and hatchlings) or any sea bird (including eggs and young). Beached or stranded sea turtles, whales, or dolphins shall be reported immediately to the City Police Department.

It shall be unlawful for any person to allow a dog to disturb nesting sea turtlesturtle nests or turtle hatchlings.

Lights out for loggerheads near your beach house Charleston

Lights out for loggerheads near your beach house Charleston

And last but not least… remember LIGHTS OUT FOR LOGGERHEADS !

Most of our beach house rentals Charleston SC are oceanfront, or very close to the beach.  The main ordinance requires that all exterior lights of your beach house Charleston be turned off from sunset to sunrise during turtle nesting season.  That’s because artificial lighting confuses the baby hatchlings and the mamas as well, since they mistake it for the reflection of the moon and stars off the ocean, which they use to navigate.  Even flashlights and any small lighting visible from the water or beach can spell disaster for the turtles.  I’ve pasted in the entire IOP lighting ordinance below.

So cheer on the turtles as they return home, keep those exterior lights off in your beach house Charleston… and remember to call EP for the best in luxury beach house rentals SC.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


IOP ordinance that applies to your beach house Charleston…

Sec. 5-4-17. Sea turtle protection; outdoor lighting regulations.


Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:


Artificial light means any source of light emanating from a manmade device, including, but not limited to, incandescent, mercury vapor, metal halide, or sodium lamps, flashlights, spotlights, streetlights, vehicular lights, construction or security lights.


Floodlight means reflector-type light fixture which is attached directly to a building and which is unshielded.


Low profile luminary means a light fixture set on a base which raises the source of the light no higher than forty-eight inches (48″) off the ground, and designed in such a way that light is directed downward from a hooded light source.


Development means any existing structure for which a building permit has been duly issued and any new construction or remodeling of existing structures when such remodeling includes alteration of exterior lighting.


Person means any individual, firm, association, joint venture, partnership, estate, trust, syndicate, fiduciary, corporation, group or unit, or Federal, State, County or municipal government.


Pole lighting means a light fixture set on a base or pole which raises the source of the light higher than forty-eight inches (48″) off the ground.


Development. No artificial light shall illuminate any area of the beach other than in compliance with this section. Building and electrical plans for construction of single-family or multifamily dwellings, commercial or other structures, including electrical plans associated with parking lots, dune walkovers or other outdoor lighting for real property if lighting associated with such construction or development can be seen from the beach, shall be in compliance with the following:


Floodlights shall be prohibited. Wall-mounted light fixtures shall be fitted with hoods so that no light illuminates the beach.


Pole lighting shall be shielded in such a way that the point sources of light will not be visible from the beach. Outdoor lighting shall be held to the minimum necessary for security and convenience.


Low-profile luminaries shall be used in parking lots and such lighting shall be positioned so that no light illuminates the beach.


Dune crosswalks shall utilize low-profile shielded luminaries which shall be turned off from sunset to sunrise during the period of May 1 to October 31 of each year.


Temporary security lights at construction sites shall not be mounted more than fifteen feet (15′) above the ground. Illumination from the lights shall not spread beyond the boundary of the property being developed and in no case shall those lights illuminate the beach.


Use of lighting. It is the policy of the City for both new and existing development to minimize artificial light illuminating any area of the beach. To adhere to this policy, lighting of structures which can be seen from the beach shall be in compliance with the following:


Lights illuminating buildings or associate grounds for decorative or recreational purposes shall be shielded or screened such that they are not visible from the beach, or turned off from sunset to sunrise during the period of May 1 to October 31 of each year.


Lights illuminating dune crosswalks of any area oceanward of the primary dune line shall be turned off from sunset to sunrise during the period of May 1 to October 31 of each year.


Security lights shall be permitted throughout the night so long as low-profile luminaries are used and screened in such a way that those lights do not illuminate the beach.


Publicly owned lighting. Streetlights and lighting at parks and other publicly owned beach areas shall be subject to the following:


Streetlights shall be located so that most of their illumination will be directed away from the beach. These lights shall be equipped with low-pressure sodium bulbs and shades or shields that will prevent backlighting and render them not visible from the beach.


Lights at parks or other public beach access points shall be shielded or shaded or shall not be utilized during the period of May 1 to October 31 of each year.


Enforcement and penalty. Violation of any provision is hereby declared to be a misdemeanor, punishable and enforceable pursuant to the provisions of section 1-3-66.