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Archive for the ‘Beaches’ Category

FREE Shark Tooth Hunt for kids with the famous Shark Tooth Fairy, Port Royal, SC, June 28

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

sharkteethThis is so worth the roadtrip to Port Poyal, near Beaufort, S.C.

The Shark Tooth Fairy, Mike Harris, invites kids to come to The Sands beach in Port Royal (a roughly 1 hr drive or less from Savannah) this Saturday June 28 2014 starting at 11 AM. Kids can look for shark teeth, Megalodon teeth and other fossilized finds and take what they find home with them. Over 200 pounds of sharks teeth and fossils donated from all over the world will be hidden on the beach for kids to find. 

Read more about Shark Tooth Fairy Mike Harris here.

FREE & open to the public.

Harris – an avid fossil and shark tooth collector (as well as an overall fun character)- will spread pounds of shark teeth and a bunch of cool bones on the beach just in time for the kids’ arrival at 11 AM.  Info on The Sands in Port Royal, S.C. near Beaufort here.

Stay updated and learn more about The Shark Tooth Fairy by friending Mike Harris on Facebook here. We attended previous shark tooth and fossil hunt and even though we didn’t find a shark tooth, we were so entertained & impressed by this guy’s enthusiasm.

Learn more here. 

SIDE TRIPS: Make a day of it and pair your visit with a trip to the lighthouse at Hunting Island near Beaufort or check out fun playgrounds in Beaufort by clicking here. Stay all day & catch a drive-in movie at the Hwy 21 Drive-In.

Sharks, Whale, Jelly, Sift & Seine beach walks @ Tybee Is.

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Beach walks with Tybee Marine Science CenterKid-friendly walks, talks & treks with Tybee Island Marine Science Center are each an hour long and cost $10 per person ($9 for members; kids four and under are free).

Reservations can be made up to one week in advance, either in person or on the phone. The science center is open daily from 10 to 5, at 1509 Strand Avenue. Phone reservations are available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 912-786-5917.

SUMMER 2014 SCHEDULE:
(May 24 – September 1)

Please understand that all times are subject to availability, based on the tides, program scheduling, and capacity limitations. Please call up to a week ahead to confirm your program and reserve your slots, 912-786-5917.

Mondays:
South Beach Walk @ 10:30a.m.
Sift & Seine @ 1:00p.m.
Marsh Trek @ 3:30p.m.

Tuesdays:
South Beach Walk @ 10:30a.m.
Jelly Jive @ 1:00p.m.
North Beach Walk @ 3:30p.m.

Wednesdays:
South Beach Walk @ 10:30a.m.
Shark Jaw @ 1:00p.m.
Sift & Seine @ 3:30p.m.

Thursdays:
South Beach Walk @ 10:30a.m.
Turtle Talk @ 1:00p.m.
North Beach Ecology Walk @ 3:30p.m.

Fridays:
South Beach Walk @ 10:30a.m.
Whale Tale @ 1:00p.m.
Marsh Trek @ 3:30p.m.

Saturdays:
South Beach Walk @ 10:30a.m.
Turtle Talk @ 1:00p.m.
Sift & Seine @ 3:30p.m.

Sundays:
South Beach Walks @ 10:30a.m. & 1:00p.m.
Sift & Seine @ 3:30p.m.

Beach Walks: Guided walks on the beach to learn about coastal Georgia’s tides, dunes, and the wildlife that live in and around the ocean. South beach walks meet at the science center. North beach walks meet at the north end of the island, near the lighthouse.

Turtle Talks: Join in for an intro into the lives of Georgia’s nesting sea turtles. Learn about their nesting habitat and Tybee’s conservation efforts.

Marsh Treks: Guided trek through Georgia’s salt marsh. Explore in the mud, find creatures, and learn why the estuary is the ocean’s nursery. Marsh Treks meet off-site, at the Spanish Hammock. For safety reasons closed-heel, closed-toe shoes are required. Directions are provided at sign-up.

Shark Jaws: Bulls, nurses, and tigers all have something in common. We’ll jaw about the most misunderstood beasts in the ocean.

Jelly Jives: Jellies don’t have a heart, but that’s not why they sting. Understand the role they play in the health of our ocean.

Whale Tales: Georgia’s coast is the calving ground for a 70-ton toothless whale. Hear these giants’ tale and of local efforts to protect them.

Due to limited capacities, payment is required at the time of registration. Refunds can only be provided in the case of program cancellation due to inclement weather.

Larger group, school, and scout badge programs are available year round and are booked by request. Please call Cody at 912-786-5917 for more information or to book any type of program.

Tybee Island Marine Science Center, 1509 Strand Ave Tybee Island, Ga 31328 912-786-5917 or 1-866-557-9172 email info@TybeeMarineScience.org, http://TybeeMarineScience.org

Best Family/Kid Friendly Beaches (other than Tybee Island) near Savannah

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Neptune Park Fun Zone Saint Simons Island A reader asks “What is the top rated children/family friendly beach around besides Tybee Island?”

That got us thinking. Here are our picks:

Sea Pines Beach Resort, Hilton Head Is., S.C. Convenient access to the Surf Shop, restrooms, shower facilities & Surfside Market featuring to-go sandwiches, salads, snacks &  cold beverages. Details here.
87 North Sea Pines Drive, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928. Details here. (While on HHI, be sure to check out Sandbox Children’s Museum (especially if it rains), the free petting farm at Lawton Stables, climb the Harbour Town Lighthouse or stay after dinner for a FREE kid-celebrated Gregg Russell concert at Harbour Town. ($5 Sea Pines Resort gate fee per auto) Details on Gregg Russell concerts here.

Neptune Park Fun Zone, St. Simons Island, Ga. Offers an 18 hole miniature golf course, an interactive Kiddie Pool, a zero entry swimming pool and playground right on the beach. Details here. 550 Beachview Dr. Saint Simons Island, Ga. 31522. Details here.

Hunting Island State Park, S.C. Five miles of pristine South Carolina beaches, thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet are all part of the park’s natural allure.
The historic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park is the only publicly accessible lighthouse in South Carolina. For an admission of $2, visitors can climb the 167 steps & walk around the observation deck for a lofty view of the barrier island and surrounding seascape. CHILDREN MUST BE AT LEAST 44″ TALL TO CLIMB THE LIGHTHOUSE. Details here.

Jellyfish in Coastal Georgia & South Carolina: Who is hot & who is not

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

WITH THE START OF SUMMER, WE THOUGHT SOUTHERNMAMAS.COM SHOULD REPOST THIS POPULAR & INFORMATIVE GUEST POST ABOUT OUR AREA’S JELLYFISH.

Below is a guest post published on SouthernMamas.com in 2011 by Tybee Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson. Dr. Richardson leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips . These beach walks are an excellent way to educate your kids and entertain your visitors. Read a list of activities and topics the beach ecology walk covers by clicking here. To book a family, scout, school and tour group beach walk call (912) 596-5362 or email joe@ceasurf.com . For updates regarding what Dr. Joe is finding and doing on his ecology beach walks, check out (and “like”) the “Tybee Beach Ecology Trips” FACEBOOK page by clicking here.

Cannonball Jellyfish are very abundant right now on our beaches, and they are harmless.

The large flat Moon jellyfish will become more common as summer comes, but their sting is mild.

Jellyfish: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

It’s not unusual to find jellyfish on our beaches, but most of the time the ones we see are harmless and will not sting you. In mid May, the most abundant jellyfish on the beach is the Cannonball Jelly. They are ball-shaped (as opposed to flat), relatively firm, and have a broad reddish-brown band wrapping around an otherwise cloudy white body. The thick structure extending out from under the bell is a system of multiple mouths. Cannonball Jellies do not have stinging tentacles hanging from the bell, so as long as you handle them on the outside of the bell or mouths, there is nothing to sting you. Only if you stick your fingers way up inside the bell could you contact any tiny tentacles, and even then they would give you only a slight tingle. So, don’t mind the Cannonball Jellies – they aren’t going to sting you.

Our common winter-time jellyfish, the Lion’s Mane Jelly, has pretty much finished its season for this year. I haven’t seen any Lion’s Mane Jellies in a few weeks now that the water has warmed up. They are round and fairly flat, and they often have some pink color. Their tentacles are fairly short and form a “hairy-looking” circle of tentacles hanging from the underside of the flat

The Lion’s Mane jellyfish is our winter-time jelly and have pretty much disappeared from our beaches now

The Sea Wasp Jellyfish will become a problem in mid July through mid August, and their sting is intense.

jellyfish. This thick circle of short tentacles supposedly resembles the hairy mane around the neck of a male lion. Lion’s Mane Jellies produce a very mild sting; and I personally don’t consider it a “sting” but more of an irritation.

As the water warms into the summer, we will start seeing Moon Jellies. They are very flat, round and clear, and usually have 4 horseshoe shaped structures visible near the center. Moon Jellies have a fringe of short tentacles extending from the very outer edge of their flat body. I’ve seen Moon Jellies on Tybee Island as large as a dinner plate. Moon Jelly tentacles produce a mild sting. It is not really painful, but you know that you have been stung; but it’s not likely going to cause you much discomfort.

It’s during late July and the first couple of weeks of August, on average, that we reach the peak of the Sea Wasp season on Tybee. The Sea Wasp jellyfish are our “bad guys” around here. (We rarely have trouble from floating, blue Portugese Man of War on Tybee, especially compared to some beaches in Florida). But the Sea Wasp jellyfish in late summer do cause us problems. They are clear, and we can’t see them in the water. Although their body is fairly small (2-3 inches), they produce a number of long thin tentacles that extend from 4 hand-like structures that hang from the bottom of their box-shaped body. Even when they are dead and washed up on the beach, Sea Wasp tentacles can still sting. Their sting is an instant intense burning sting, and these stings will make you want to get out of the water and seek some relief. Although the intense pain subsides after a few minutes, the stung area will still hurt a while, and usually some red marks will appear where the tentacles contacted your skin. For me, the stung areas itch for a few days later also.

The above is a guest post by Tybee Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson, who leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips . These beach walks are an excellent way to educate your kids and entertain your visitors.

FREE kids’ hunts for shark teeth, Megalodon teeth & other fossilized finds, Port Royal, S.C.

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Shark Tooth Fairy Beaufort SCShark tooth hunts are so cool & totally worth the roadtrip to Port Poyal, near Beaufort, S.C.

The Shark Tooth Fairy, Mike Harris, regularly invites kids to come to The Sands beach in Port Royal to look for shark teeth, Megalodon teeth and other fossilized finds. These kid-friendly hunts are held every couple of months throughout the year.

The Shark Tooth Fairy  spreads out over 100 pounds of shark teeth over the beach before kids arrive. Info on The Sands in Port Royal, S.C. near Beaufort here.

Read about The Shark Tooth Fairy & the public shark-tooth beach hunts by clicking here.

Find out when the next shark tooth hunt will be by ‘liking” the Shark Tooth Fairy & his pup Captain Morgan on Facebook here. 

(Make a day of it and pair your visit with a trip to the lighthouse at Hunting Island near Beaufort.  Info on Hunting Island here.)

FREE 350/30 Sand Castle Competition on Hilton Head Is.

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Hilton Head kids activities, sand castle competitionYou’re invited to the 350/30 Sand Castle Competition
Saturday, October 5, 2013
** 10:00 a.m. Sign-In ** 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Coligny Beach – Hilton Head Island
Prizes will be awarded to: 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each division category
“Best Pirate Theme” “Most Creative” “Best in Show”
(Judging will begin at 1:00 pm.)

For more information, please click here: celebrationhhi.org
Email your questions to: hhisandcastle@yahoo.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE REGISTRATION FORM

Kid-friendly, educational Beach Discovery Walks with Tybee Island Marine Science Center

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Beach Discovery Walks on Tybee Island SavannahThis weekend,  I took my  kids on a great, educational Beach Discovery Walk guided by Tybee Island Marine Science Center. These walks happen despite light rain. So worth it. Our beach walk guide was Chantal – incredibly ocean-life savvy & good with kids!

Beach Discovery Walks, Turtle Talks & Marsh Treks are one hour long, regularly scheduled throughout the week, and cost $10 per person ($9 for members; kids four and younger are free). Beach and marsh programs take place in the field and Turtle Talks are presented in the science center’s classroom and Coastal Georgia Gallery.

Registration closes 30 minutes prior to each start time and each program can accommodate up to 20 participants.

Reservations can be made up to one week in advance, either in person or on the phone. The science center is open daily from 10 to 5, at 1509 Strand Avenue. Phone reservations are available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 912-786-5917.

Beach Walks: Guided walks on the beach to learn about coastal Georgia’s tides, dunes, and the wildlife that live in and around the ocean. South beach walks meet at the science center. North beach walks meet at the north end of the island.

Turtle Talks: Join us for an intro into the lives of Georgia’s nesting sea turtles. Learn about their nesting habitat and Tybee’s conservation efforts.

Marsh Treks: Guided trek through Georgia’s salt marsh. Explore in the mud, find creatures, and learn why the estuary is the ocean’s nursery. Marsh Treks meet off-site, at the Spanish Hammock. For safety reasons closed-heel, closed-toe shoes are required. Directions are provided at sign-up.

May 27, 2013 – September 2, 2013:

Monday:
South Beach Walk – 10:30 a.m.
Marsh Trek – 4 p.m.
Turtle Talk – 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday:
South Beach Walk – 10:30 a.m.
North Beach Walk – 4 p.m.

Wednesday:
South Beach Walk – 10:30 a.m.
Marsh Trek – 4 p.m.
Turtle Talk – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday:
South Beach Walk – 10:30 a.m.
North Beach Walk – 2:30 p.m.

Friday:
South Beach Walk – 10:30 a.m.
Marsh Trek – 4 p.m.

Saturday:
South Beach Walk – 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Sunday:
South Beach Walk – 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Turtle Talk – 5:30 p.m.

Larger group, school, and scout badge programs are available year round and are booked by request. Please call Cody at 912-786-5917 for more information or to book any type of program.

Tybee Island Marine Science Center, 1509 Strand Avenue, Tybee Island, 31328, tel 912-786-5917 or 1-866-557-9172 email info@TybeeMarineScience.orghttp://TybeeMarineScience.org 

Sea turtle walks & talks on Tybee, Hilton Head & Jekyll Islands & free nest excavations on Tybee Is.

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Sea turtles fascinate kids. Fortunately, we have several sea turtle walks or talks offered by various nearby museums/marine science centers including:

Turtle Talks & Walks @ Tybee Island Marine Science Center
A 90-minute intro into the lives of sea turtles. Learn about their anatomy and natural adaptions. Then take a stroll on the beach to discuss nesting habitat and conservation efforts. Fee: $10 ($9 members) per participant, kids 4 and younger are free.
Reservations required by 4pm the day of the program.
● All ages welcome. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
● This program meets at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.
● Observing sea turtles and nests is NOT part of the program.
● Some of the program will be inside, and some will be on the beach.
● Discovery Shop won’t be open during the program; it’s open 10-5 daily.
Regularly scheduled Turtle talks start in late May 2013. To find out the schedule & make a reservation, call 912-786-5917 or toll-free: 866-557-9172

Evening Turtle Talks and Walks by Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Is.
Tuesdays and Thursdays through August 2013.
Location given out at time of reservation
An evening lecture and beach walk to educate participants about the threatened loggerhead sea turtle. Presentation given to entire group, then 2 groups of 10 proceed to the beach to examine the nesting habitat and nest sites. No guarantee of turtle sightings. Please call 843-689-6767 ext 223 to make your reservation. Reservations are required. Cost is $20 adult, $15 child (no children under 4 years of age)

Morning Nest Walks by Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island
RESERVATIONS FOR 2013 NEST WALKS will begin in August 2013. Please call (912)-635-4444 after August 1st to reserve your spot!!
Offered during hatching season 7-9 AM Sundays, Wednesdays, Saturdays
$7 per person (Members); $14 per person (Non-Members**).
**Price does not include general admission to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center
More info here.

 

 

Giveaway: Roger Day’s Marsh Mud Madness, music & education DVD, which was just released today

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Roger Day Marsh Madness educational DVD SavannahDid your child attend the Roger Day concert in Fall 2011 as part of a Savannah Music Festival school field trip?

Is your child interested in all things coastal – alligators, periwinkle snails, sea turtles, fiddler crabs & dolphins.

Or maybe you & your kids are just big fans of Roger Day hits like “Mosquito Burrito” & “I Love to Study Mud.”

Roger Day Savannah Music Festival field trip concertWhichever the case, you need to check out Roger Day’s Marsh Mud Madness, a new educational music DVD that introduces kids to coastal ecology through songs & video.

The DVD was just released today, May 21, 2013.(Bigkids.com, CDBaby.com, Rogerday.com, $15)

Produced by the Savannah Music Festival & Roger Day, with support from the Georgia Sea Grant & the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation, the video features engaging information about the plants & animals that make up the Atlantic coastal ecosystem, interspersed with Day performing 12 original songs about goopy mud, fascinating coastal animals & the waters & plants of the marsh itself, in front of a live audience of thousands of Savannah elementary kids.

This week, we’re giving away TWO of these music & education DVDs to two SouthernMamas.com readers. To enter to win, like the Roger Day page on Facebook here & tell us what you (or your kids) love best about living on the coast or about the Atlantic marshland ecology.  Please say SouthernMamas.com sent you! Deadline to enter: 9 PM Sun. May 26.

Roger Day, one of the nation’s top touring family music artists, spent five days exploring Sapelo Island, a barrier island south of Savannah. There, he learned about the fragile ecosystem from scientists at the University Georgia Marine Institute. Georgia Sea Grant sponsored the visit, and they commissioned Day to compose a program of songs about the Georgia coast for elementary school audience. While watching turtles nest and trekking through the maritime forest, Day wrote a song cycle about the importance of habitat and watershed health, the abundance of creatures that depend on the state’s water resources and how individuals can help protect the coastal eco-system.

In the Marsh Mud Madness concert scenes, a wildly enthusiastic young audience of Savannah kids joins in dancing “The Fiddler Groove,” signing to Day’s classic hit “Mosquito Burrito,” leaping when “Dolphins Will Jump Up,” and “Flushing Out the Estuary” right along with Day and his band mates.

Helpful links:

For more information and Roger Day latest tour details & links to purchase the DVD, visit www.rogerday.com .

Video clip for “I Love to Study Mud,” showing the kids reacting to the song at the Savannah Music Festival in Fall 2011: https://vimeo.com/63406881

Songs to download: http://rogerday.bandcamp.com/

FREE curriculum & activities for teachers & home schoolers: http://georgiaseagrant.uga.edu/article/RogerDay/
What scientists are saying about Marsh Mud Madness:

“I have been truly amazed and inspired by Roger’s artistic talent, professional enthusiasm and heartfelt environmental ethics. The dynamic relationship he develops with his audiences is a real joy to behold (and to take a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, face-making active part in!).”
~ John “Crawfish” Crawford, Naturalist and Marine Education Specialist at The University of Georgia Marine Extension Service

“Roger Day creates vivid images of the marsh and its inhabitants—including the marine biologists—in songs with titles such as ‘I Love to Study Mud’ and ‘Alligator in My Refrigerator.’ It’s both funny and educational.”
~ David Bryant, assistant director of Georgia Sea Grant

Save BIG on Sandals & Beaches All-Inclusive Resorts & Receive $250 Spa Credit

Monday, April 15th, 2013
Sesame Street characters at Sandals or  Beaches resorts

Copyright Beaches/Sandals

Need an escape to a tropical paradise? Sandals and Beaches luxury all-inclusive resorts are located on some the most popular islands throughout the Caribbean including, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Bahamas, & among others. Currently, both are offering incredible deals like 65% off, airfare credits up to $555, and for a very limited time you can receive a $250 spa credit for booking with Enchanted Travel.

Sandals Resorts are adults-only and perfect for a romantic getaway without the kiddos. You’ll enjoy exotic rooms with private pools, butler service, and captivating views . Beaches Resorts were designed with families in mind, featuring large rooms, waterparks, and children’s programming including nanny services. Beaches also is home to your kids favorite Seasame Street characters!

No matter if you choose a tropical getaway with (or without) the kiddos everything is included in these resorts. Gourmet restaurants… check! Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages…check! Scuba diving…check! Seriously, everything at Sandals and Beaches is included from food, drinks, activities, and the childcare (at Beaches) is all included in the price.

Get your no obligation Sandals or Beaches vacation quote today, and start planning your tropical getaway!

Tara McCoy, Vacation Specialist at Enchanted Travel, 843.284.3241 Become a Facebook fan at facebook.com/enchantedtravel

Tara McCoy, Vacation Specialist at Enchanted Travel 843.284.3241 Become a Facebook fan at facebook.com/enchantedtravel Tara McCoy is a SouthernMamas.com advertiser.

FREE Children’s Ocean Film Festival part of Savannah Ocean Exchange in September 2012

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The Savannah Ocean Exchange (SOE) – which celebrates our oceans with over 30 public events in September 2012 – announced today that American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard will headline the International Beach Party on Tybee Island’s North Beach Stage, Saturday, September 15 starting at 6pm. The event is free and open to the public. Studdard will be joined by recording artist Trevor Hall.

Kids’ events at The Savannah Ocean Exchange include:

The Children’s Ocean Film Festival :  designed for ocean lovers of all ages and especially young students and children – and their parents, of course. Films are an excellent medium for conveying a story or message and each film scheduled for viewing during the 2012 festival will have just that. Everyone comes away with a better understanding of how precious and fragile our world’s Ocean is, and what they can do to become better stewards in protecting it. The entertainment of course is priceless and this event is free and open to the public.
Where & When
September 16, 2012, 1-5 pm
Tybee Island Marine Science Center
1509 Strand Avenue
Tybee Is. 31328

Forsyth Park Family Picnic: On Sunday, September 16, the SOE welcomes families from across the region for a day of celebration in Forsyth Park at The International Ocean Connection Picnic. The picnic will feature the Armed Forces marching band, an array of international cuisine and activities for kids of every age. The event is scheduled to begin at 5pm.

Add Tybee Sea Turtle Project nest excavation to your summer finale bucket list

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Chances are you’ve heard about the Tybee Sea Turtle Project and the work these volunteers do to protect Tybee’s loggerhead sea turtles, which nest on Tybee Island each year from May through October.

But if you haven’t taken your kids to witness one of the conservation program’s nest excavations yet, be sure to add the experience to your summer finale bucket list. We were lucky enough to attend a nest excavation last week that had 93 hatched eggs and 8 unhatched.  There were 5 live babies and 0 dead.  We were able to wish each live baby sea turtle a happy birthday and watch each live baby scoot right out to sea, leaving the cutest tracks behind them. The event was one of our top summer experiences.

The Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project is a conservation program of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. Trained volunteers protect the island’s sea turtles and their hatchlings by monitoring nesting activity.  When a nest hatches, the hatchling number is estimated by the number of tracks from the nest to the ocean. Five days after the hatch, the nests are excavated and egg shells are counted to determine the number of eggs laid, and of those laid, how many actually hatched. Nesting data is reported to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

You can attend a nest excavation for free. Check the Tybee Sea Turtle Project’s page on Facebook here for updates on nest excavations. People coming to view the nest excavations are urged to be certain to stay out of the dunes and not use any flash photography, this includes cell phone lighting.

The nests are already hatched.  Per DNR protocol, the volunteers dig them up a few days after they hatch to inventory the nest.

For more info, visit Tybee Sea Turtle Project on Facebook here or contact Tybee Marine Science, 1510 Strand, Tybee Island, Ga. 31328 912-786-5917 http://tybeemarinescience.org/

Crabbing in Savannah, Hilton Head Is. (Summer kids activities)

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Crabbing with kids to catch Carolina Blue Crabs can be comical and tends to require less skill than fishing.

What you need:

a bucket, a crab net (available at any hardware store or bait shop), 10- to 12-feet of sturdy string with a chicken neck attached above a two-ounce sinker.

What to do:

Cut the line about ten to twelve feet, add a sinker, then a chicken neck for bait. Leave the end with the chicken in the water, and patiently wait. You’ll see the crab nibbling on your line. Once the crab grabs, pull the line in with the crab on it and scoop it into the bucket

Where to crab

A pier, sea wall, sea shore, or dock. Crabs will be closer to shore in murky water and a bit farther out in clear water. You can crab from shore if there is no wave action. Our suggestions include:

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge
Harris Neck Road (Highway 131)
Off U.S. Highway 17 between Eulonia and Darien in McIntosh County, GA (From I-95, take Exit 67)
www.fws.gov/harrisneck/

South Beach, Hilton Head Is.
Located at the “toe” of the island near the South Beach marina, is the Calibogue beach. There is no public parking, so it’s best to walk or bike from South Beach Marina parking lot.

Rules

There is a minimum size for “keepers”: five inches wide point to point to keep. You may not keep a female carrying eggs (an orange spongy mass on their underside).

Sea turtle walks & talks on Tybee, Hilton Head & Jekyll Islands (Things to do in Savannah with kids)

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Sea turtles fascinate kids. Fortunately, we have several sea turtle walks or talks offered by various nearby museums/marine science centers including:

Evening Turtle Talks @ Tybee Island Marine Science Center
A 90-minute intro into the lives of sea turtles. Learn about their anatomy and natural adaptions. Then take a stroll on the beach to discuss nesting habitat and conservation efforts. Fee: $10 ($9 members) per participant, kids 3 and younger are free.
Reservations required by 4pm the day of the program.
● All ages welcome. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
● This program meets at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.
● Observing sea turtles and nests is NOT part of the program.
● Some of the program will be inside, and some will be on the beach.
● Discovery Shop won’t be open during the program; it’s open 10-5 daily.
Regularly scheduled Turtle talks start in late May 2012. To find out the schedule & make a reservation, call 912-786-5917 or toll-free: 866-557-9172

Evening Turtle Talks and Walks by Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Is.
8 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays starting June 5 2012 through August 2012.
Location given out at time of reservation
An evening lecture and beach walk to educate participants about the threatened loggerhead sea turtle. Presentation given to entire group, then 2 groups of 10 proceed to the beach to examine the nesting habitat and nest sites. No guarantee of turtle sightings. Adult $20/Child $15 (no children younger than 4).
Reservations are required and may be made by calling 843-689-6767 ext 223.

Evening Turtle Walks at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Is.
TURTLE WALK RESERVATIONS CAN BE MADE BY CALLING (912) 635-4444
Explore the beach at night, and learn about the amazing journey of loggerhead sea turtles nesting along the Georgia Coast. These popular programs begin with a 30-45 minute presentation at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center about the natural history of sea turtles, followed by a guided beach tour in search of a nesting turtle.
May 29 – July 31* (*Except July 4th) with two nightly programs at 8:30 and 9:30 P.M. Reservations are required as group size is limited by DNR permit restrictions (25 per group maximum) and programs fill quickly.
FEES
Walk Only:
$6 per person (Members)
$12 per person (Non-members**)
**Price does not include general admission into the Georgia Sea Turtle Center)
COMBO TICKETS:
$16 per person
Includes 1 day general admission to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center & 1 Turtle Walk. Turtle Walks are based on availability and reservations are required due to space limitations.
Additional Information:
* Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Due to the time and nature of these walks,  children be at least 4 years of age.
* During the Turtle Walk presentation the Sea Turtle Center’s hospital area will not be accessible. However, you are welcome to visit the Center during its normal visiting hours with a general admission purchase or combo ticket!
* Seeing a nesting turtle on the beach is not guaranteed. More info here.

Morning Nest Walks by Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island
Offered during hatching season 7-9 AM Sundays, Wednesdays, Saturdays
$6 per person (Members); $12 per person (Non-Members**).
**Price does not include general admission to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center
More info here.

 

Jellyfish in Coastal Georgia & South Carolina: Who is hot and who is not?

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Below is a guest post published on SouthernMamas.com in 2011 by Tybee Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson. We are republishing it again this spring because it was so popular and helpful. Dr. Richardson leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips . These beach walks are an excellent way to educate your kids and entertain your visitors. Read a list of activities and topics the beach ecology walk covers by clicking here. To book a family, scout, school and tour group beach walk call (912) 596-5362 or email joe@ceasurf.com . For updates regarding what Dr. Joe is finding and doing on his ecology beach walks, check out (and “like”) the “Tybee Beach Ecology Trips” FACEBOOK page by clicking here.

Cannonball Jellyfish are very abundant right now on our beaches, and they are harmless.

The large flat Moon jellyfish will become more common as summer comes, but their sting is mild.

Jellyfish: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

It’s not unusual to find jellyfish on our beaches, but most of the time the ones we see are harmless and will not sting you. Right now (mid May) the most abundant jellyfish on the beach is the Cannonball Jelly. They are ball-shaped (as opposed to flat), relatively firm, and have a broad reddish-brown band wrapping around an otherwise cloudy white body. The thick structure extending out from under the bell is a system of multiple mouths. Cannonball Jellies do not have stinging tentacles hanging from the bell, so as long as you handle them on the outside of the bell or mouths, there is nothing to sting you. Only if you stick your fingers way up inside the bell could you contact any tiny tentacles, and even then they would give you only a slight tingle. So, don’t mind the Cannonball Jellies – they aren’t going to sting you.

Our common winter-time jellyfish, the Lion’s Mane Jelly, has pretty much finished its season for this year. I haven’t seen any Lion’s Mane Jellies in a few weeks now that the water has warmed up. They are round and fairly flat, and they often have some pink color. Their tentacles are fairly short and form a “hairy-looking” circle of tentacles hanging from the underside of the flat

The Lion's Mane jellyfish is our winter-time jelly and have pretty much disappeared from our beaches now

The Sea Wasp Jellyfish will become a problem in mid July through mid August, and their sting is intense.

jellyfish. This thick circle of short tentacles supposedly resembles the hairy mane around the neck of a male lion. Lion’s Mane Jellies produce a very mild sting; and I personally don’t consider it a “sting” but more of an irritation.

As the water warms into the summer, we will start seeing Moon Jellies. They are very flat, round and clear, and usually have 4 horseshoe shaped structures visible near the center. Moon Jellies have a fringe of short tentacles extending from the very outer edge of their flat body. I’ve seen Moon Jellies on Tybee Island as large as a dinner plate. Moon Jelly tentacles produce a mild sting. It is not really painful, but you know that you have been stung; but it’s not likely going to cause you much discomfort.

It’s during late July and the first couple of weeks of August, on average, that we reach the peak of the Sea Wasp season on Tybee. The Sea Wasp jellyfish are our “bad guys” around here. (We rarely have trouble from floating, blue Portugese Man of War on Tybee, especially compared to some beaches in Florida). But the Sea Wasp jellyfish in late summer do cause us problems. They are clear, and we can’t see them in the water. Although their body is fairly small (2-3 inches), they produce a number of long thin tentacles that extend from 4 hand-like structures that hang from the bottom of their box-shaped body. Even when they are dead and washed up on the beach, Sea Wasp tentacles can still sting. Their sting is an instant intense burning sting, and these stings will make you want to get out of the water and seek some relief. Although the intense pain subsides after a few minutes, the stung area will still hurt a while, and usually some red marks will appear where the tentacles contacted your skin. For me, the stung areas itch for a few days later also.

The above is a guest post by Tybee Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson, who leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips . These beach walks are an excellent way to educate your kids and entertain your visitors.

Crabbing in Savannah, Hilton Head Is. (Things to do with kids)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Crabbing with kids to catch Carolina Blue Crabs can be comical and tends to require less skill than fishing.

What you need:

a bucket, a crab net (available at any hardware store or bait shop), 10- to 12-feet of sturdy string with a chicken neck attached above a two-ounce sinker.

What to do:

Cut the line about ten to twelve feet, add a sinker, then a chicken neck for bait. Leave the end with the chicken in the water, and patiently wait. You’ll see the crab nibbling on your line. Once the crab grabs, pull the line in with the crab on it and scoop it into the bucket

Where to crab

A pier, sea wall, sea shore, or dock. Crabs will be closer to shore in murky water and a bit farther out in clear water. You can crab from shore if there is no wave action.  Our suggestions include:

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge
Harris Neck Road (Highway 131)
Off U.S. Highway 17 between Eulonia and Darien in McIntosh County, GA (From I-95, take Exit 67)
www.fws.gov/harrisneck/

South Beach, Hilton Head Is.
Located at the “toe” of the island near the South Beach marina, is the Calibogue beach. There is no public parking, so it’s best to walk or bike from South Beach Marina parking lot.

Rules

There is a minimum size for “keepers”: five inches wide point to point to keep.  You may not keep a female carrying eggs (an orange spongy mass on their underside).

Break the Grip of the Rip: Teaching Your Kids About Rip Currents

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Rip Current

Rip currents (or rip tides as they are often called) are a top worry now that my two preschoolers are “swimming” regularly at Tybee Island beaches.

Which is why I’m thrilled that Tybee  Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson, who leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips , agreed to offer some info for SouthernMamas.com on rip current awareness.

This week June 5-11 is Rip Current Awareness Week. Rip currents are strong narrow currents moving away from shore. The strongest rip currents can attain speeds reaching 8 feet per second; this is faster than an Olympic swimmer can sprint! On average, more people die every year from rip currents than from shark attacks. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, 80 percent of surf beach rescues are attributed to rip currents, and more than 100 people die annually from drowning in rip currents.

Dr. Joe Richardson recommends checking out the information, graphics, video and other resources on the NOAA Web site by clicking here so you can try to recognize a rip current and teach your kids what to do if caught in one. Click here to go to the Kids Korner Rip Current Safety page.  

Another concern, according to Dr. Joe Richardson, are strong tidal currents, especially at the north and south ends of Tybee Island (ie. North Beach near the jetty, and South Beach from about 17th St. to the south end of the island). 

“These currents can be surprisingly strong, and they don’t move at a constant speed.  At irregular times and places they move faster, so someone noticing that they are gradually drifting along the beach might find that they are suddenly drifting much faster,” said Dr. Joe Richardson. “This can be extremely dangerous because it might take only a few seconds to suddenly realize that you are too close to the jetty/rocks or the pier to get back to shore or shallow enough water to stand.  I’m afraid that I see this happen too often. And this keeps our lifeguards and ocean rescue people especially busy at the north and south end.”

Read more of Dr. Joe Richardson’s Guest Posts here, including which jellyfish in our local waters sting and which don’t.

Tybee  Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson, who leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips . These beach walks are an excellent way to educate your kids and entertain your visitors.  Read a list of activities and topics the beach ecology walk covers by clicking here.  To book a family, scout, school and tour group beach walk call (912) 596-5362 or email  joe@ceasurf.com . For updates regarding what Dr. Joe is finding and doing on his ecology beach walks, check out (and “like”) the “Tybee Beach Ecology Trips” FACEBOOK page by clicking here.

Jellyfish in Coastal Georgia & S.C.: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Below is a guest post by Tybee  Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson, who leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips . These beach walks are an excellent way to educate your kids and entertain your visitors.  Read a list of activities and topics the beach ecology walk covers by clicking here.  To book a family, scout, school and tour group beach walk call (912) 596-5362 or email  joe@ceasurf.com . For updates regarding what Dr. Joe is finding and doing on his ecology beach walks, check out (and “like”) the “Tybee Beach Ecology Trips” FACEBOOK page by clicking here.

Cannonball Jellyfish are very abundant right now on our beaches, and they are harmless.

The large flat Moon jellyfish will become more common as summer comes, but their sting is mild.

Jellyfish: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

It’s not unusual to find jellyfish on our beaches, but most of the time the ones we see are harmless and will not sting you. Right now (mid May) the most abundant jellyfish on the beach is the Cannonball Jelly. They are ball-shaped (as opposed to flat), relatively firm, and have a broad reddish-brown band wrapping around an otherwise cloudy white body. The thick structure extending out from under the bell is a system of multiple mouths. Cannonball Jellies do not have stinging tentacles hanging from the bell, so as long as you handle them on the outside of the bell or mouths, there is nothing to sting you. Only if you stick your fingers way up inside the bell could you contact any tiny tentacles, and even then they would give you only a slight tingle. So, don’t mind the Cannonball Jellies – they aren’t going to sting you.

Our common winter-time jellyfish, the Lion’s Mane Jelly, has pretty much finished its season for this year. I haven’t seen any Lion’s Mane Jellies in a few weeks now that the water has warmed up. They are round and fairly flat, and they often have some pink color. Their tentacles are fairly short and form a “hairy-looking” circle of tentacles hanging from the underside of the flat

The Lion's Mane jellyfish is our winter-time jelly and have pretty much disappeared from our beaches now

The Sea Wasp Jellyfish will become a problem in mid July through mid August, and their sting is intense.

jellyfish. This thick circle of short tentacles supposedly resembles the hairy mane around the neck of a male lion. Lion’s Mane Jellies produce a very mild sting; and I personally don’t consider it a “sting” but more of an irritation.

As the water warms into the summer, we will start seeing Moon Jellies. They are very flat, round and clear, and usually have 4 horseshoe shaped structures visible near the center. Moon Jellies have a fringe of short tentacles extending from the very outer edge of their flat body. I’ve seen Moon Jellies on Tybee Island as large as a dinner plate. Moon Jelly tentacles produce a mild sting. It is not really painful, but you know that you have been stung; but it’s not likely going to cause you much discomfort.

It’s during late July and the first couple of weeks of August, on average, that we reach the peak of the Sea Wasp season on Tybee. The Sea Wasp jellyfish are our “bad guys” around here. (We rarely have trouble from floating, blue Portugese Man of War on Tybee, especially compared to some beaches in Florida). But the Sea Wasp jellyfish in late summer do cause us problems. They are clear, and we can’t see them in the water. Although their body is fairly small (2-3 inches), they produce a number of long thin tentacles that extend from 4 hand-like structures that hang from the bottom of their box-shaped body. Even when they are dead and washed up on the beach, Sea Wasp tentacles can still sting. Their sting is an instant intense burning sting, and these stings will make you want to get out of the water and seek some relief. Although the intense pain subsides after a few minutes, the stung area will still hurt a while, and usually some red marks will appear where the tentacles contacted your skin. For me, the stung areas itch for a few days later also.

The above is a guest post by Tybee  Island marine scientist/biologist Dr. Joe Richardson, who leads Tybee Island Beach Ecology Trips . These beach walks are an excellent way to educate your kids and entertain your visitors.