Sea Turtles - You can help
Guidelines to follow in the event that you see an adult, hatchlings, or an unmarked or marked nest:
not disturb. If you see an adult sea turtle coming up on shore, stay quiet
and keep your distance. Otherwise, the turtle may become frighten and
return to the ocean without nesting. Sea Turtles are a threatened species
and federal laws prevent harassment of these animals.
•Turn off all flashlights. Lights may confuse the adult female and prevent her from nesting.
cause hatchlings to go in the wrong direction. Please turn off all outside
lights (porch, pool, etc.) each night. Also, close curtains or blinds at
night in order to prevent indoor lights from leading the hatchlings away
from the ocean.
•Never pick up a hatchling that is crawling towards the ocean. It is critical that they crawl on their own.
•Do not disturb the nest area. Watch for the nest markers.
•Stay off sand dunes and do not disturb sea oats. Sand dunes provide critical habitat for sea turtles and help prevent flooding during times of extreme tides and storms. Foot traffic kills plants and severely damages the sand dunes. The penalty for failure to adhere to this requirement is $100 per violation.
•Help us keep our beaches clean. Sea turtles may mistake a plastic bag or other form of litter for a jellyfish.
personal items and equipment must be removed from the beach each day.
Turtles may become entangled in these items causing injuries to the
•Please fill in all holes on the beach before you leave. Holes can trap turtles and are a safety hazard to humans.
•Keep dogs on leashes at all times. No dogs shall be permitted on the beach strand between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm during the period of Memorial Day through Labor Day regardless of whether they are leashed or not.
•Fireworks can frighten nesting sea turtles and leave behind trash that may be mistaken for food by marine wildlife. Discharge of fireworks is not permitted per North Carolina state laws.
•Please report all sightings of nesting turtles, dead turtles, unmarked nests, or crawls (looks like a bulldozer came out of the water) to the following organization: