The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on nearby Jekyll Island features an interactive Exhibit Gallery and Rehabilitation Pavilion open to the public. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a functioning hospital for ill and injured sea turtles and is the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia. This unique experience should be on everyone's list during a visit to the Golden Isles, where you can learn about the important role these creatures play in our marine ecosystem.
Marine biologists with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center often schedule turtle releases back into the ocean, so be sure to check with them to find out about any upcoming releases during your visit. These events are a huge attraction and make for a memory that will last a lifetime, so don't miss it!
Features an interactive Exhibit Gallery and Rehabilitation Pavilion open to the public. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a functioning hospital for ill and injured sea turtles and is the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia.
Ages 4-12: $9
Ages 13+: $11
The GSTC has limited hours of 9am to 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
• Single admission to GSTC
• Special programs available a la carte
• All proceeds help to offset operational costs, including the rehabilitation of our patients
Visitors under 16 years old must be accompanied by someone 18 years or older. In accordance with State Health Department regulations, all swimsuits must be covered. Shoes and shirts must be worn at all times.
Hours of Operation
Open daily 9am - 5pm
Jekyll Island Sea Turtles
Georgia Sea Turtle Center Jekyll Island Terrapins are the only turtle species in the world known to live their whole life in brackish water (a mixture of salt and fresh water, common in the Golden Isles). Found in the marsh habitat of Georgia's Barrier Islands, they have webbed feet with claws on each toe, allowing them to swim well and also walk on land at low tide.
Diamondback terrapins are one of the most common turtles to see along the causeway. Female terrapins are almost twice as big as the males. Because of their hard shell, female terrapins can't expand their bodies to accommodate eggs. A female terrapin grows to about 8 to 10 inches long in comparison to a male and she lays 8 to 10 eggs which take about 65 days to incubate.
Ride with Night Patrol Program
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island offers a summer program to engage visitors with a unique understanding of the Island's endangered sea turtles. Ride with Night Patrol allows guests to accompany local biologists to the beach on all-terrain vehicles, where they will gain hands-on experience with sea turtle crawls, habitat, nesting and egg hatching. All funds from this program benefit the research department at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
St. Simons Land Trust
Home to more than 12,000 full-time residents, St. Simons is known for its stately live oaks, abundant salt and fresh water marshes, meandering creeks and rivers, and rich history. Spotted seatrout, redfish, flounder and tarpon are bountiful in the creeks and near shore waters. And, just offshore is the calving ground for the North Atlantic right whale - one of the world's most endangered large whale species. Not surprisingly, St. Simons is also a favorite destination for vacationers.
Like so many coastal areas, St. Simons experienced a population boom in the 1990s. Recognizing that the uniqueness of this barrier island would continue to attract new residents and thus be heavily impacted by development, the St. Simons Land Trust was born. Recognition is given to the vision of local leaders such as Ben Slade III, Frances McCrary, and Jim and Jeannie Manning who were the Land Trust's founding members, and the organization's first Executive Director, Catherine Main, who operated the Land Trust out of her home until 2001 when an office was opened on Frederica Road.
The St. Simons Land Trust has become a community institution entrusted with an extraordinary responsibility: to protect our scenic and historic treasures and to preserve the beauty and charm of our island for generations to come.
Since those early days, the Land Trust has preserved more than 1,000 acres (and another 200 acres in a nearby county). We also hold over 300 acres in conservation easements. We are guided in our work by our most recent strategic plan for land conservation on the island that has established target areas for our work and priorities for transactions.
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