Bald Head Island Conservancy

Adopt a Legacy

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A wonderful way to honor a loved one or celebrate a life! Legacy sea turtles are the moms who repeatedly nest on Bald Head Island beaches.

Adopting a Legacy Turtle

bhic adopt legacy sea turtle protection program
Copper legacy sculptures at BHIC

Due to the variability in the number of nesting female sea turtles observed each season, the Conservancy will have limited numbers available to adopt each year. If you’re interested in Adopting a Legacy, please contact our Chief Development Officer, Melissa Blackmon, at

This is a wonderful way to honor a loved one or celebrate a life!  Legacy sea turtles are the moms who repeatedly nest on BHI beaches.  Through our Sea Turtle Protection Program, we monitor and tag all of the sea turtles that nest on BHI so we have over 25 years of data for you to accurately choose the right sea turtle.  You also get the rare opportunity to name the mom.

Sea Turtles are a sign of longevity – they repeatedly come back to BHI to lay their nest so you can celebrate your family or loved one for years to come as you attend nest excavations for all of the nests and help her hatchlings get to sea.  The individual/family will receive:

  • Plaque with adoptive parent’s name will be placed on the cage
  • Have the opportunity to symbolically name an identified individual turtle – the turtle will have this given name forever (or as long as we document her on BHI)
  • Receive a letter detailing the known history of this turtle (when she was tagged, tag info, & how many years she has been documented nesting on BHI)
  • Be notified every year that their turtle returns to nest on BHI and receive birth announcements and invitations to excavations for each nest
  • Copper Turtle Sculpture on BHIC wall:
    • $4000 – 6″ Copper Turtle
    • $5000 – 8-10″ Copper Turtle
  • Custom plaque with your turtle’s name and information
  • A “Sea Turtle Protection Program” sticker
Adopting a Legacy - $4,000/5,000

Adoption Details

Thank you for your interest in sea turtle adoption and joining our conservation efforts of our Sea Turtle Protection Program! As you know, sea turtles are continuously at risk from many factors, including habitat destruction, entanglement in fishing gear, climate change and pollution. Your support of our Sea Turtle Protection Program allows us to do our part to ensure they continue to thrive on our beautiful barrier island and beyond.

In our appreciation of your gift of adoption, you (or the recipient you choose for this wonderful gift) will receive exclusive information about a specific sea turtle, be recognized as the adoptee on the nest, and depending on which adoption option you choose, be invited inside of the ropes for an excavation.

Curious about how adoptive families are assigned to a Nest, Mom, or Legacy turtle? For a more detailed description of the process, click here.

All Adopt-as are symbolic adoptions of a sea turtle or sea turtle nest. Each adoption is considered a donation. In the unfortunate event that a nest is lost due to a natural disturbance (such as predation or a natural disaster) there will be no refund nor re-assignment of a new nest. The adoptive parent(s) will be invited to another nest’s excavation. Please allow the Sea Turtle Protection Team at least 2 weeks after a major natural disturbance event to provide an in-depth update on the status of the sea turtle nests.