Ocean Isle Beach NC Sea Turtle Protection Organization
OCEAN ISLE BEACH NC SEA TURTLE PROTECTION ORGANIZATION
The 2019 Ocean Isle Beach NC Sea Turtle Season has come to a very successful end! It’s awesome to work with such a great group of volunteers and the visitors and residents of Ocean Isle Beach that I met along the way were awesome too! Hurricane Dorian put a squelch on some of the late season nests unfortunately, but some did make it out to the sea. Check out this video of a little Dorian Survivor!
If you have not had the opportunity to witness the hatchlings in person, it is an experience you need to see at least once. About 100 volunteers are trained as nest parents, Beach Walkers and Rescue Teams. In addition, the organization hosts weekly “Turtle Talks” to educate the public and participates in other community and fundraising activities. Our Island Coordinators work closely and are licensed by the NC Wildlife Commission.
Sea Turtles are an endangered species. This is largely due to pollution, becoming entangled in fishing nets, climate change, pilfering of the nests and misorientation from artificial lights. The organization sponsors a “Lights Out” program to make homeowners aware of the detrimental effects of artificial lights on the hatchlings. Artificial lights, including photographic flash, are off-limits once the turtles hatch.
With all of that, 2019 was a record-breaking year for nests and hatchlings
The female (up to 350 pounds) makes her way to the beach to dig an 18 inch hole to lay her eggs. Once she is done, she makes her way back to the ocean and will leave the nest unattended for the duration of its existence. The OIBSTPO (Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization) has trained “Beach Walkers” that walk and scan the beach in the early morning hours to locate any new nests. Once new nests are located, “cages” are placed around the entire nest. This is done to deter fox, sea gulls and other wildlife from digging up the eggs.
Approximately 50 days after the female lays the eggs, a team of “Nest Parents” begins to sit at the nest from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Most of the nests hatch in the evenings due to the cooler temperatures. The mission of the Nest Parent is to guide the hatchlings to the ocean safely. It is so exciting to see 70 to 130 hatchlings emerge! This year we welcomed 4,000 hatchlings to Ocean Isle Beach NC (49 nests). Once the hatchlings emerge, the same team will go back a few months later to “excavate” the nest, count how many “shells” hatched and count any that may have been infertile or did not make it.
Again, it is a “must see” event if you have not witnessed this. The babies usually hatch between May and September, so be sure to plan on seeing it next year!
Ocean Isle Beach Homes for Sale
If you are in search of a great Coastal Carolina community, Ocean Isle Beach NC can’t be beat. The people are amazing and this area showcases one of the most pristine beaches in the United States. Contact us today if you are interested in a tour of homes in this area!