One of the Earth's most ancient creatures, sea turtles are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems…and it might just surprise you to learn that many make their home here on the Outer Banks. Next to Corolla’s Wild Horses, our shoppers adore sea turtles!
Because of their long lifespan, sea turtles have come to symbolize patience, wisdom, endurance, and good luck. Depicted in watercolor, sculpture of all sizes, collectibles (especially on Christmas ornaments)…on apparel and jewelry too, sea turtles abound here at Beach Treasures in Duck. But it’s not merely fascination or fancy…I’ve found that everyone’s eager to learn all about them!
Like so many other species on the planet, these amazing creatures are endangered.
In 1973, sea turtles became protected under the Endangered Species Act – which means that it is illegal to harass, harm, hunt, shoot, wound, or capture sea turtle eggs, hatchlings, adults, and their body parts. Helping to ensure their safety on the Outer Banks is N.E.S.T. (the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles), an all-volunteer, non profit comprised on individuals who work tirelessly to preserve them and their habitat by monitoring turtle activity from the Virginia State Line beyond Corolla, all the to the Oregon Inlet.
How you can help…
Sea Turtle nesting occurs from May to August, just when our beaches are being fully enjoyed by everyone visiting and living on the Outer Banks.
- So for starters: if you see a see a sea turtle call the N.E.S.T. Hotline (252.441.8622)
- Should you see a nest marker, leave it be! Leave a nest site undisturbed and be sure to keep your pets on a leash and away from the nests.
- Another way you can help is to keep the beaches clean – balloons, plastic bags, polystyrene foam and other non-biodegradable items cause death when sea turtles mistakenly confuse these items for food.
- When you’re packing it up for the day, knock down those sand castles and fill in holes, as these can be nighttime turtle traps!
- And finally, turning off outside ocean-facing porch lights as well as interior lights during hatching is critical!
Just like most non-profits, N.E.S.T. is always in need of resources – both monetary and human. In addition to accepting donations, they sell their t-shirts (which we are proud to sell here at Beach Treasures in Duck) to help pay for vet bills, transportation, and supplies. Volunteers are always needed to help with their educational outreach and to assist with monitoring and strandings. Learn more: http://www.nestonline.org