May is here and so is the start of sea turtle nesting season here on the Outer Banks. Each year hundreds of sea turtles come our beaches during late spring to make their nests for their eggs. When you stay in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals, you may have the opportunity to see a nest or two. Let’s look at what you and your family need to know about sea turtle nesting season here on the Outer Banks below.
When Does the Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begin?
Many visitors and locals love this time of the year not only for the warmer weather but also in hopes to see a nest or a sea turtle. Starting on May 1st every year is the beginning of the most magical times on the North Carolina coast. This is the start of the sea turtle nesting season and it’s something you don’t want to miss while on vacation. During the night is when you might have the opportunity to see a turtle come to the shore and lay their eggs in their nests they have built. All along the Outer Banks is where you will find most of their nests and eggs. Sea Turtle nesting season doesn’t end until the beginning of September here, so while you are on vacation during the summer, know that it’s sea turtle nesting season.
Help Protect our Sea Turtles on the Outer Banks
The Outer Banks takes protecting our sea turtles very serious as they have made their home on our beautiful shoreline. There are several hundred local volunteers who check the beaches every morning in search for a new nest that had been built the night before. These nests are all marked with rope, posts and a sign showing the number of the nest. The Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T) monitors each nest for the safety of the eggs and hatchlings and also for the vacation goers. Here are a few rules to follow while you and your family are vacationing on the Outer Banks during sea turtle nesting season:
- Please keep your distance from any of the nests, turtles or eggs.
- Do not disturb the nests, posts or ropes that are around each nest. Having these items helps protect each nest and the hatchlings.
- Please don’t use a flashlight or leave the lights on outside your Oceanfront vacation rental. The turtles do use the moonlight to help guide them back to the ocean and any other lights will disorientate them.
- Clean up after your day at the beach by bringing back your beach chairs, umbrellas and toys to your vacation rental.
- Please keep our beaches clean from any trash or plastic on the days you spend on the beach. We like to keep our beaches free of trash to help with the new hatchlings as much as we can.
- If you happen to see a mother who is in distress, injured or find any unmarked nests, please contact N.E.S.T. today at 252-441-8622.
While there are many other things that you can do to help protect the nests and hatchlings while on vacation, these are the most important ones we wanted to share with you. If you haven’t made your family vacation reservations, check out our Oceanfront vacation rentals today. We can’t wait to see you on your next vacation to the Outer Banks this summer!