As you stroll Wrightsville Beach’s white-sand shore, be mindful of an endangered species that lives here. The non-profit Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project educates visitors and residents about sea turtles that visit the island. You may see their tracks during nesting season.
There are several things that both visitors and residents can do to help sea turtles survive. First, if you see a sea turtle come up on the beach from the ocean, do not approach her. Your actions will startle her and she will go back into the ocean without nesting.
Next, before leaving the beach, fill any holes you dug in the sand and remove all trash. Those actions help humans too, since turned or sprained ankles can result from holes left in the sand and no one wants to walk over someone else’s trash.
Other things that help concern lighting. Turn off outdoor lights and keep indoor lights from shining on the beach at night, since lights disturb nesting turtles and hatchlings. Don’t use flashlights or flash photography at night on the beach.
The number of sea turtle nests identified in 2016 matched an all-time record for Wrightsville Beach. A total of 15 Loggerhead sea turtle nests resulted in 1,382 hatchlings released into the Atlantic Ocean, thanks to the corporative efforts of the visitors and residents.
Most recently in the 2017 nesting season, 10 loggerhead nests were found and 878 hatchlings were successfully released into the ocean.
Call 910-612-3047 to report sea turtle activity, injuries or strandings. If everyone cares, sea turtles will thrive.
For more information visit www.turtles.wrightsville-beach.info/