SURF CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — It’s officially the start of sea turtle nesting season along the North Carolina coast, and beachgoers can help make an effort to protect these nests.

Experts from the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center are reminding people to reduce their lighting at night to avoid scaring turtles on the shore. Experts are also advising beachgoers who dig holes or build sandcastles to fill in the holes after so sea turtles don’t accidentally fall into them.

They said if sea turtles get scared, they will return to the water and not nest.

“When it’s time for them to release those eggs they have to and if is not an appropriate place for them on the beach, they just have to let them go in the water. And then the eggs will not grow,” said Terry Meyer, deputy and conservation director at the Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

Experts say the best thing to do when encountering a sea turtle or a nest is to observe and not interfere.