EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) July is prime nesting season for sea turtles.
Emerald Isle is considered a sea turtle sanctuary and their Sea Turtle Patrol is making sure to protect these animals.
Sea Turtles full-grown are 350 pounds. They can only move forward and do not see well out of the ocean.
So when they come onto the beach to nest, it is important for them to have a safe environment to do so.
Recent dune re-growth programs are placing flags and wooden dune barriers on the beach.
These can be unsafe for sea turtles and the ocean if a storm hits and drags these items out to sea.
Emerald Isles’ Sea Turtle Patrol Program Director Dale Baquer says the most dangerous are the wooden barriers because turtles can get stuck in them.
Since turtles are unable to move backwards, getting stuck in one of these barriers could be deadly.
Baquer urges people to be careful around these animals.
They don’t like loud noises or bright lights such as fireworks.
Those types of stimuli will drive them away from the beach.
So far the group has discovered 10 nesting areas along Emerald Isles’ 13 mile beach line.
Baquer says this is a great start to the season.
She also wants to encourage people that if you are digging holes you fill them back in at the end of the day so turtles don’t get trapped in them.
Other hazards include leaving chairs and tents on the beach that turtles can get caught in.
Check out the groups website at “Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol”