We are very excited to share the recent hatching of 48 loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings from a nest at our very own Fenwick Island State Park. The loggerhead sea turtle is a federally-listed threatened species and a state-listed endangered species in Delaware. The original nest was dug and eggs laid below the high tide line in the Town of Fenwick, which would have likely ended in nest failure. Coordinating with MERR volunteers and under the guidance of DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife, officials made the decision to relocate the nest to a remote and higher location at Fenwick Island State Park. By doing so, officials were able to ensure the safety of the eggs. DNREC’s divisions of Fish & Wildlife, Parks & Recreation, and Watershed Stewardship then worked together to build predator fencing to protect the nest until the hatchlings emerged. Park Ranger Keith Betts caught photo and video of one of the sea turtles making its way to the ocean.
Generally known to nest on sandy beaches from Florida to North Carolina, loggerhead sea turtle nests are extraordinarily rare in Delaware. The last documented nest found in The First State was in July of 1973 in north Bethany. At Delaware State Parks, we’re excited to have been part of such a momentous occasion as this event fits within our mission of responsible stewardship of the lands and the cultural and natural resources that we have been entrusted to protect and manage. You can learn more and find the full press release on the DNREC website.