Coastal Carolina University has a Coastal Sea Turtle Club that has been active on campus since the fall of 2012.
The club offers a range of activities each year, from teaching children about sea turtles to performing hands-on projects. During the fall semester, board members schedule a trip to either an aquarium or a garden. This past fall, members visited the Charleston aquarium.
Members also go to Waties Island, which is partly owned by CCU, and work directly with the sea turtles, whether it’s counting and sorting the eggs or helping the new hatchlings into the ocean.
“[One of my favorite memories was the] first time I got to carry them (hatchlings) to high tide, the wet sand, and watch them crawl into the ocean,” said Abby Hayes, club president.
For the spring semester, the club travels to neighboring schools to teach children about sea turtle conservation. For anyone interested in oceanic life, the club has a lot to offer.
“I would most definitely recommend joining the club for lots of reasons. One of the reasons being the experiences, but also the people you meet,” said club member Victoria Gluck. “The president of the club was nice enough to meet with me and go over internship options which led me to be accepted into an internship program in Clearwater Fl where I got to work with sea turtles every day for a summer.”
The Coastal Sea Turtle Club owns the turtle feeders on the bridge going over the turtle pond on campus. The club’s future goal is to take the money raised by the turtle feeders and turn it into a scholarship fund. It would help CCU students that are studying abroad in Costa Rica, as well as help those that live in Costa Rica and go to the sea turtle reserve.
Club member Brooke Dunnery said, “Being a member of the CSTC has been one of my favorite college experiences!”
The club meets biweekly on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in Edwards 256. The club is open to all majors and has no requirements to join. They can be found on Instagram @seaturtleclub, on Twitter @ccuseaturtle, and on Facebook at Coastal Sea Turtle club.