Volunteers make sure Oak Island sea turtle nests are safe

A sea turtle nest that has been fenced off near Ocean Crest Pier in Oak Island (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY)

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Last Thursday, a loggerhead laid her eggs near Ocean Crest Pier on Oak Island and returned to the ocean. Thanks to Oak Island Sea Turtle Protection Program volunteers, the nest will be safe.

The nest is fenced off and signs are posted to alert beachgoers to give the eggs some space.

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“If you see them, normally they have a little fencing around the nest, just give them the privacy, don’t really go up in the nest or anything. Just keep your distance really,” Oak Island visitor Charlotte Holt.

The Sea Turtle Protection Program also recommends you avoid a nesting turtle if you see one.

Holt says most locals and tourists heed the warnings.

“Normally, more closer to summer like July and August, it gets really packed,” Holt said. “People tend to get a little close, but for the most part, they keep their distance.”

Holt thinks if the volunteers weren’t here to protect the nests, the turtles may choose to go elsewhere.

“I think that if we didn’t have these groups, they wouldn’t come here anymore. It’s not like we’re in Myrtle Beach, they would never go to Myrtle Beach, so it’s nice,” Holt said.

If you see turtle tracks or nests in Oak Island, you can report them to the Sea Turtle Protection Program. The number is 910-278-5518.

The eggs are expected to hatch in a little less than two months. Since the nest is about 100 yards from the water, volunteers will help the young turtles make their way to the ocean.

For information on how to report dead, sick, or injured sea turtles on land or water anywhere in the state, click here.