May 1st thru October 31st is Sea Turtle Nesting and Hatching Season in Emerald Isle. The Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Protection Program, with about 80 volunteers, tries to locate and protect the nest sites and help hatchlings return to the surf. If you ever have the opportunity to participant, it will be an experience you won’t forget.
We had the pleasure of being present for a sea turtle excavation, to be exact, 39 baby loggerhead sea turtles excavated and carefully guided on their way into the deep, wide ocean.
7 Ways You Can Help Sea Turtles
- Fill in holes: Fill in any holes that your children dig while they’re at the beach. Mama sea turtles can get stuck in them.
- Pack it up at night: Be sure to pack up any tents, toys and beach gear overnight.
- Keep outside lights off: If you live on or near the beach, keep your outside lights off. They disturb nesting mama turtles and distract hatching babies by luring them toward the light and away from the moonlit ocean where they need to head.
- Don’t litter and pick up trash: Pick up any and all trash you find, especially plastic bags which turtles can confuse for jellyfish, their food source.
- No fireworks: Fireworks are illegal in North Carolina and the noise keeps the mama sea turtles from coming on shore to nest. They also disturb hatching, baby turtles.
- Call the local police: If you see anyone disturbing a sea turtle nest, nesting turtles or hatchlings, call the police immediately. In Emerald Isle they can be reached at (252) 354-2021. Check your local info if you’re outside the area.
- No flashlights or flash photography: If you see a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings sea turtle please be very quiet and do not disturb them. You might even want to sit down and watch in amazement.
For more information, check out Emerald Isle’s General Sea Turtle PDF or contact the Turtle Protection Program Coordinators:
JCraig2@ec.rr.com Pam Minnick 354-4288 PaMinn@aol.com
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