Shelly Beach on the Central Coast of NSW is the site of a nest of more than 100 loggerhead turtle eggs, making it the southernmost site for a nest on record.
Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) have an amazing life cycle that takes them all the way to South America. Once they mature and return to Australian waters, the turtles nest on the Great Barrier Reef’s southern islands, or southern Queensland beaches, with only a small number nesting on NSW beaches each year. With so few turtles on NSW beaches it’s critical we do all we can to increase their chances of survival.
According to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services, Loggerhead turtle numbers have declined in the past 20 years in part because of the sheer number of challenges they face. On shore, turtle nests are impacted by predators such as foxes, light pollution, climactic impacts from storm surges, erosion and sea inundation. Once the eggs have hatched and the hatchlings have made it to the ocean, additional threats include marine debris, ship strike and the impacts of climate change. In particular, turtles of all species are vulnerable to plastic pollution in the ocean. They mistakenly ingest plastic believing it to be food which can lead to starvation and death, and they can drown after becoming entangled in plastic fishing lines and nets.
The nest on Shelly Beach is protected by a fence, and various groups, including NSW NPWS, Marine Wildlife Rescue Central Coast NSW Turtlewatch, Central Coast Council, and the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council are collaborating to do everything possible to ensure the eggs hatch and the hatchlings make it safely to the ocean. To further increase the chances of success, Take 3 is joining forces with Marine Wildlife Rescue Central Coast to host a clean up around the site of the nest to ensure the beach is free of plastic and other marine debris when the eggs hatch.
Shelly Beach Clean Up
When: Saturday 4th March 9am – 11am
Where: Shelly Beach Bateau Bay (meet outside Munchas cafe)
What to bring: Sun-safe clothing, hat, reusable water bottle /coffee cup (This is a single-use plastic free event). Take 3 will provide gloves, bags, buckets and tongs.
The event is free and open to all. Please register so we can keep track of numbers: