In honor of Earth Day, Sun Realty will be donating a portion of our proceeds to support N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles), an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of sea turtles and other marine wildlife on the Outer Banks. These efforts monitor sea turtle activity spanning from the Virginia border down to Oregon Inlet.
“Sun Realty is pleased and proud to support N.E.S.T.’s efforts,” said company president Ali Breaux. “Their successes in protecting sea turtles and local nests are impressive, and they have an amazing group of tireless volunteers. Vacationers appreciate the natural beauty and wildlife of the Outer Banks and N.E.S.T. plays an important role in sustaining these gifts.”
Sun’s contribution will assist N.E.S.T. with its beach sign education program, which helps inform all beachgoers about Outer Banks sea turtle conservation efforts.
According to information provided by N.E.S.T., the Outer Banks is one of the northernmost ranges for sea turtles. The sea turtle nesting season occurs from May to August.
All of the sea turtles that visit the Outer Banks are classified as either threatened or endangered, and they are therefore protected by the Endangered Species Act. This means that it is illegal to harass, hunt, capture, collect, or harm any sea turtle or its eggs. The green sea turtle and loggerhead sea turtle are the most common species to visit our shores. Other rare visitors include the Kemp’s Ridley, Olive Ridley, Hawksbill and Leatherback sea turtles.
How Can You Help?
Visitors to the Outer Banks, as well as locals who call this area home, can easily assist N.E.S.T. in its efforts to protect these endangered sea creatures by adhering to the following guidelines for beach behavior:
- Don’t crowd or block the path of a nesting female sea turtle as she emerges from or returns to the sea.
- Don’t pick up sea turtle hatchlings as they make their way to the ocean. If you see a hatchling, call the N.E.S.T. hotline at 252-441-8622.
- Bright lights can confuse nesting turtles and newly born hatchlings. Don’t use flash photography to take photos of a nesting female. Turn off any house lights that face towards the ocean at night during hatching events. Sea turtle hatchlings will be drawn towards the house lights instead of heading out to sea.
- Avoid the head of a live sea turtle. A turtle’s jaws are powerful enough to break shellfish, so imagine what they could do to a human hand.
- Take time to remove beach litter. Pollutants like plastic bags and Styrofoam can cause sea turtle deaths, as they mistake these items for food. Be sure to remove beach furniture prior to leaving the beach.
- Make sure that you fill in all holes and flatten sandcastle structures before you leave the beach. At night, they can turn into turtle traps!
- Keep your pets on a leash and make sure that they stay away from sea turtles and their nests.
- Don’t disturb sea turtle nest markers. Obey all posted signs, and stay out of nesting areas.