Coast Trails matters – helping cold stunned sea turtles

Can coastal hikers and trails help cold stunned sea turtles?

Sketching up how hikers can help sea turtles in need

Text and illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt,

In these days a large number of cold stunned Sea turtles have washed ashore in places like Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA ( Source Massaudubon ) Among the turtles are species like the critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle . A species that needs all the help it can get to avoid extinction.  In the ongoing situation along the shores of Cape Cod, experts and volunteers collect the cold stunned sea turtles when they are found along the beaches, and help them recover before releasing them back into the ocean

In resent years the amount of stranded cold stunned sea turtles has exploded from a few every year to – just at Cape Cod, more than 1200 found in 2014

I wonder and draw up how coastal trails and hiking might better the odds for survival and recovery for these endangered species. see the project here on

Project link: Hiking can help cold stunned turtles

Drawing of a private sign by a beach, and the alternative a public foot path, that will make it easier to help stranded sea turtles, among many other good things
Public Coastal trails can make a huge difference in the chances of helping cold stunned sea turtles

Coastal trails and stranded cold stunned Sea Turtles

I believe helping the endangered sea turtles survive is one more good reason to create public foot paths along the oceans.  Without public trails it is very hard both to find and to bring the stranded sea turtles to the recovery centers.  When the beaches are private or there are no good paths along them volunteers can not easily monitor the coastline and many more of the sea turtles are not saved

Two hikers standing in front of a private property sign at the coastline. With a sea turtle further down - but without being able to help it
Without public coast trails it is very difficult to help stranded cold stunned sea turtles

Public coast trails are good for a lot of things, including helping local communities to better thrive, better economy, and better health. And the coastal trails also work to make the local communities more resilient to climate change and rising sea levels, as the coast trails can be designed to protect the inland areas against flooding and work as an efficient barrier against storm surges. Beside all these good things coastal trails can also help locals and volunteers rescue sea turtles and other critically endangered animals from extinction.


The coast trails can be the very structure that makes all the difference for endangered species – and all the difference for the local coastal communities too, helping them to face the uncertain future of climate change in better and stronger ways.

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