Summer camping at Bellows Beach closed while turtles nest
A popular overnight campground at Bellows Field Beach Park will be closed for most of the summer months as sea turtles come ashore to nest.
Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, with support from the Marine Corps, announced Thursday that overnight camping and night use of the bathroom facilities will be closed from May 16 through Aug. 31.
The suspension could last past Aug. 31 if nesting turtles are still present, DPR said.
The windward Oʻahu coastline is a common nesting ground for one of Hawaiʻi's endangered and culturally significant animals. The safety of turtles is risked when vehicles drive along the coastline or when humans dig to make campfires.
Other threats to the nesting turtles include dogs, artificial lights and rubbish.
The 15-week suspension will not affect public weekend day use. Signs will be posted along the beach to restrict access to nesting areas.
DPR said they will be renovating the bathrooms and trimming the ironwood trees during the suspension time.
Military and employees of the state's Department of Defense will still be allowed to book the Bellows Air Force Station cabins, according to DPR.