Officials excited to find sea turtle nest on Mississippi beach — four years after last confirmed sighting

Published 9:00 am Sunday, August 7, 2022

Until last week, four years have passed since officials have been able to confirm that a sea turtle laid a nest on the mainland of Mississippi.

That changed last week when a seat turtle nest was spotted by Harrison County Sand Beach crews working just east of the Pass Christian Harbor.

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport posted about the discovery on Facebook.

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“IMMS is excited to announce that a sea turtle has laid a nest in Pass Christian! On Monday our Stranding Coordinator received a call from Harrison County Sand Beach reporting a sea turtle track just east of Pass Christian Harbor,” the IMMS posted.

IMMS Staff went out to assess the track and confirmed the nest location and marked the area off with stakes and flagging tape.

The area is clearly marked to protect the nest from harm by any beach maintenance equipment while the eggs are incubating.

“We kindly request that the public refrain from disturbing the nest,” IMMS wrote.

IMMS holds a permit with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to survey the beaches, mark, and monitor any nesting activities in Mississippi.

The last time a sea turtle laid a nest on the Mississippi mainland was in 2018. The turtle eggs typically incubate 50-60 days before hatching.

“We want to thank Harrison County Sand Beach for calling in the report!” IMMS posted “We will keep everyone updated on this nest especially around the time we expect hatching.”