June 2022 Tide Chart [Hilton Head Island]

If you’re visiting our beautiful island during the month of June, it’s a good idea to know when High or Low Tide is before you plan your beach bike ride or sunset stroll.

Fill out the short form below to receive your printable tide chart:


Hilton Head Island’s Sea Turtle Season

There is only one thing that can rival the excitement of summer vacation on Hilton Head Island, and that’s sea turtle season!  The long stretch between May and October welcomes the island’s most seasoned visitors—Loggerhead sea turtles.  The local community and non-profit groups such as Sea Turtle Patrol HHI and Turtle Trackers of HHI, work tirelessly to protect these endangered creatures.

Never touch adult or baby sea turtles. Report any stranded, injured, or deceased sea turtles on one of Hilton Head Island’s beaches.

Once the sun goes down and beachgoers have left for the day, the stage is set for nesting sea turtles to make their way up the beach to lay their clutch of eggs.  After finding a nesting site that’s dark and quiet, the female may lay an average of 110 eggs per clutch, and 4 clutches per season.  Loggerheads are also known to nest at least once on what is considered their natal beach, or the beach where they themselves hatched.

If sea turtles are disturbed while nesting, they will return to the water and try again later that night or within a few days.  The egg’s survival is dependent on whether or not the sea turtle finds a fitting site to nest, so it is crucial that our beaches maintain the necessary conditions.

Lights Out

You might’ve already heard the term, “Lights Out for Sea Turtles!” Although it doesn’t necessarily affect the interior of the island, it’s important for everyone to know.  Beaufort County has a lighting ordinance set from May to October that prohibits visible light on beaches, including houses, resorts, as well as flashlights.

Why is this important? Not only do nesting sea turtles keep away from brightly-lit areas on the beach, there’s a possibility that once hatched, the babies might get distracted by other light sources that are in the opposite direction of where they need to go.  Sea turtles are phototactic creatures, meaning that they are drawn to light.  In this case, baby sea turtles are hard-wired to know that if they follow the moonlight reflecting on the ocean’s waves, they’ll make it to the water’s edge.

Clean Up

When you’re ready to leave the beach for the day, make sure to pack up all of your gear and take it with you.  Personal property left unattended overnight will be disposed of.  Beach furniture and larger objects can pose as obstacles for nesting sea turtles, sometimes even entangling them!

Hilton Head does a great job at providing trash cans in convenient locations along the island’s beaches, so even if you happen to spot a stray piece of trash that wasn’t yours, please pick it up on your way out.

Keeping our beaches clean helps the entirety of island wildlife, not just sea turtles.

Fill in Holes

Although it’s a sad thought to build a sandcastle and moat only to have to knock it down again, we need to keep the beaches as level as possible.  It’s important to limit the number of obstacles both adult and baby sea turtles could potentially come into contact with. Volunteers who walk the beach do a great job at filling holes and flattening sandcastles each evening. Their time would be better spent educating beachgoers about sea turtles if everyone did their part in preparing the beach for the night.

Keep Off the Tracks

If you’re out for an early morning stroll and happen upon some wavy-looking tracks in the sand, make sure to stay off of them!  It’s important to leave the sea turtle’s tracks intact so that Turtle Patrol knows where to find the nest. Once the nest has been found and marked, Turtle Patrol will make x’s through the tracks.

Sea Turtle Patrol HHI

This volunteer-based 501C3 non-profit organization is responsible for searching beaches on Hilton Head Island for turtle tracks and nests. After a nest has been found, it is marked and entered into the SCDNR database for further monitoring throughout the 45-day incubation period. After the hatchlings emerge, the team then inventories the nest 3 days later.

Click here for more information.

Check on the latest sea turtle nest count on Hilton Head Island here!

Turtle Trackers of Hilton Head

Also a 501C3 volunteer-run organization, the Turtle Trackers of Hilton Head’s main mission is to assist in the preservation efforts of endangered sea turtles that nest on Hilton Head, as well as educating the public about the best ways to protect hatchlings headed to the ocean. You can help the Turtle Trackers by cleaning up after your day at the beach as well as flattening any sand structures you made or fill any holes you’ve dug.

Click here for more information.

Turtle Trackers’ Turtle Talks

8:00pm-9:00pm, FREE to attend

Every Monday from June 6th through August, except on July 4th

Lowcountry Celebration Park Pavillion; 94 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island, SC 29928


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Memorial Day 2022 Events on Hilton Head Island

On the last Monday of May, our Nation honors the brave men and women who died while serving in the United States military. Memorial Day Weekend is also the unofficial start to the summer season, meaning more Americans pack their suitcases and travel over the three-day weekend–or longer! If you’re headed out for a weekend getaway, keep the significance of the holiday in mind and find ways to honor the fallen soldiers who fought for our freedoms. If you’re visiting Hilton Head Island, here are two ways to observe the holiday:

Hilton Head Freedom 5K Run & Walk

The 7th Annual Hilton Head Memorial Day 5K Run & Walk, presented by the Palmetto Running Company, is a family-friendly event that honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Strollers and dogs are welcome, with custom medals given to the top 3 dogs! In addition to medals given to division winners, there is also a “Best Costume” Award, so make sure to dress in your patriotic best!

There will be no same-day registration, so make sure to register in advance here!

A portion of the proceeds as well as all donations will be given to the Semper Fi & America’s Fund. For more information about this fund, click here.

Monday, May 30th

Port Royal Plantation

10 Clubhouse Dr., Hilton Head Island, SC 29928


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Basic Guide to Beach Safety

It’s that time of year again when the idea of walking ankle-deep in the refreshing Atlantic, building sandcastles, and soaking up the Carolina sunshine becomes a little bit more irresistible.  Although Hilton Head’s temperate weather allows locals and visitors alike to visit its beautiful beaches year-round, there’s an explosion of activity that begins every year around Memorial Day that brings more tents and towels to our beaches.  The summer season is an exciting time buzzing with more people to meet and more chances to make lasting memories with friends and family.

As you prepare for your upcoming summer vacation to Hilton Head Island, make sure you brush up on your beach safety.  Don’t allow the anxiety of what could go wrong deter you from having fun during your vacation. On the other hand, you also don’t want to get caught unprepared if something does happen.  Here are some things to keep in mind before you head to the beach:

What to Bring

Water

It’s easy to become dehydrated at the beach, especially if you’re chasing down frisbees or playing in the waves.  Make it a point to bring an ample amount of water for everyone in your group.  Not a fan of water?  I know it might be tempting to stock up on just soda and sugary juices, but any sports drink with electrolytes is a better replacement.

Another thing to keep in mind: alcoholic beverages are not allowed on any of Hilton Head Island’s beaches.

Sunscreen

An important beach staple, sunscreen should always have a spot inside your beach bag.  There’s always someone in your group who forgets to apply sunscreen, and depending on how long your beach day is actually going to last, it’s a good idea to reapply throughout the day especially if you’ve been in and out of the water.

Out of sunscreen? Stop by one of the local gift shops or grocery stores on the island and pick up some reef-friendly sunscreen that will not only protect you, but ocean life as well! 

First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit on hand when traveling is a good idea in general.  You never know when a rogue scraped knee or bee sting will surprise you.  Accidents do happen, and if you end up losing a wrestling match with your beach umbrella, it’s always handy to have a stash of your own band aids and other supplies, especially if there’s no lifeguard around. 

Of course, some injuries do require medical attention, so don’t hesitate to seek emergency care if necessary.

Water Safety

Here are just a few of the main water safety tips. Some of the following tips may sound like common sense, but they’re good to brush up on if you haven’t visited the beach in a while.

  • If you know you can’t swim, stay out of the water.
  • Never overestimate your swimming ability.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Always supervise your children, even if you are located in a guarded area.
  • Remember to enter the water feet first—don’t dive.
  • Ask the lifeguard why he or she is flying a yellow caution flag.

Click here for additional water safety information or if you’d like to know where Beach Patrol is located.

-Rip Currents

The chances of rip currents increase with higher surf levels, as well as with weather activity, so before you even unfold the beach chair, check with the lifeguard on duty and keep an eye on your weather app.

The best things to do if you do happen to be caught in a rip current:

  1. Don’t panic or fight the current.
  2. Swim sideways, or parallel to shore until you’re outside of the rip current.
  3. Let the current pull you out, and then swim parallel to shore once you’re outside of the current.

Click here to learn more about rip currents.

Stingrays

Most injuries caused by stingrays seem to happen during the months of May through June.  Whether one can pin that on stingray mating season, feeding habits, or just bad luck, there are ways to help limit your chances of getting injured.  As you splash around in the water, remember to shuffle or drag your feet.  Believe it or not, stingrays only attack you if they feel threatened, and accidentally stepping on one does in fact fall into that category. 

What happens when you’ve been injured?  The injury should be cleaned and disinfected immediately, and hot water seems to help with the pain from the stingray’s toxins.  It’s always a good idea to seek medical treatment, especially if there are any spines that remain or if the injury in the chest, neck, and head area.  Injuries from a stingray normally cause severe pain, weakness, and nausea.

Please keep in mind that we are not medical professionals, and this guide should not replace medical treatment.

Jellyfish

Although you might not see a jellyfish in the water before unintentionally bumping into it, you can steer clear of any dead jellyfish on the beach—they can still sting!  If you’re terrified of a jellyfish sting ruining your beach day, keep a bottle of vinegar as well as a pair of tweezers in your beach bag. Rinsing the sting with vinegar is said to keep the stingers from firing any additional jellyfish venom.  Tweezers can help pluck any remaining tentacles off of the skin—the scraping method is now thought to cause more pain.  Similar to stingray injuries, soaking the skin in hot water seems to ease the pain more than cold water does.  

Please keep in mind that we are not medical professionals, and this guide should not replace medical treatment.

Local Beach Regulations

When visiting a beach—especially one you’ve never been to before—it is always smart to read up on all of the local beach regulations to help keep you and everyone else around you safe.  Click here for a link to Hilton Head Island’s local beach regulations.


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