Sea turtle nesting season

Each year hundreds of Loggerhead turtles hatch along our coast and make their way into the ocean. Before they get there, they have plenty of human obstacles to contend with. As you walk into the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, you are instantly greeted by exotic marine life. You can also see an exhibit dedicated to the Loggerhead turtle. Each year, hundreds of these turtles creep up on our shores for nesting season, but the beach can be a dangerous environment. Nancy Busovne said, "The Loggerhead are a threatened species and it's very important we keep an eye on them. They face a lot of obstacles out there on the beach and we do our best to get them out into the water safely." Nancy Busovne heads up the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project, which is a group of volunteers who make it their mission to protect these endangered species. When the month of May rolls around, Busovne's group goes into action tagging and protecting sea turtle nests to make beach goers aware of hatchlings under ground. "We do our best to get them all into the ocean, and they're all on their own after that, but we do get them in the water safely," said Busovne. Nests on average have more than one hundred eggs. Then, the hatchlings make a mad dash to the ocean. Many times along the way, hatchlings encounter trash and holes left from humans. Aquarium Education Coordinator, Peggy Sloan says people need to be aware of nests when beaches are the busiest. "They share one of our favorite environments on the coast. They nest on the beach, they need the beach to survive, and so we need to learn how to live with the turtles, and help them to survive without threatening their survival," said Sloan. There will be a wine tasting fundraiser in support of the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project on Sunday from 2pm-5pm at the Ocean Grill on Carolina Beach. All proceeds will go toward the nesting project.

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