Sea Turtle nests can be found up and down the North Carolina coast and you donft have to go very far to find one.
The nests that are found in the more remote areas or on barrier islands usually follow naturefs course of incubation and hatching but what about the nests that are made in more populated areas?
Most communities have volunteers who monitor and protect the nest to try and give these baby turtles a chance make it to the ocean where they can grow into adults.
The Carolina Beach Sea Turtle Watch is one of these volunteer Organizations.
The group patrols the beach each morning starting in late spring to locate the newly dug nests. They will then stake it out for protection and then start the watch.
The average nest will hatch in about 60 days so as the time comes near the watch volunteers will make preparations to help ensure the baby turtles journey from the nest to the water a successful one.
Keeping in mind you cannot touch the babies to help them; the volunteers will dig a path from the nest to the water. They man the nest to keep people from walking through the paths. They also try to get the owners of close by buildings to turn off floodlights and as many other lights possible, that will distract the turtles causing them to go the wrong way as they depend on the moonlight to guide them to the water.
To see a nest hatch is an unbelievable experience. You are welcome to watch these turtles hatch from a safe distance, but please locate the volunteers at the nest and follow their instructions, and, please leave your flashlights and flash cameras at home.
E-mail Capt. John at John@kayakcarolina.com