Sea Turtle Center

On my trip to St Mary’s last year to meet up with the Herth’s, we passed a sign that said there was a Sea Turtle Center in Jekyll Island, GA.  That was on the top of our ‘to do’ list when we returned.  It did not disappoint! 

Not very large, the facility was a great education for the kids on all of the hazards facing sea turtles, and tortoises native to this area.  The staff was SUPER friendly and helpful, and approached the kids to tell them about various displays or turtles in the facility. 

The museum part was full of interactive displays, and even had a glass exam room you could watch the vet staff and volunteers working on the turtles!  The displays were on kid level, and each kid was given a turtle bookmark that they could emboss on each of five stations. 

I cannot say enough about how great the staff were.  All volunteers, they were super nice to the children and very informative speaking directly to the children, not just the adults. 

After the museum, you could visit the turtle rehab room.  The coolest part here, each turtle had a bio book.  Inside, it had their names, injury, how much the weighed when they came in, their treatment and current stats.  It was very cool! 

Even in this part, the staff was very interactive.  They brought live turtles up for the kids to see close up.  These baby turtles were actually extracted from a mother that was hit on the road!  They took out her eggs (she was on her way to lay them when she was hit—because this type of turtle lays eggs on high ground, in marshy GA often ‘high ground’ is the road a volunteer told us) and incubated them!!  Each one was painted with a number on the shell so they could keep track of them!!  They will be released this spring. 

Another very cool thing about Jekyll Island *(which is beautiful and amazing in itself) is that when these turtles come to lay eggs, they lower the speed limit on the entire island to 25mph! 

This was a big highlight for our trip this time.  The kids really enjoyed seeing the turtles up close, and if you are driving down 95 it is not very far off the beaten path and will only take a few hours to see.  Well worth the stop!!  Not to mention the other eco-friendly trails and spots on the island.  We saw dolphins, fed sea birds cheetoes, and discovered a beach that reminded us of Costa Rica with its tidal pools.  There were house ruins, and, of course A CEMETERY!  :) 

Malena made get well cards for the turtles