SOUTHERN SHORES – Volunteers with the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) will have an easier time monitoring Outer Banks beaches for signs of sea turtles thanks to a grant from the N.C. Aquarium Society.
The $4,000 grant was used to purchase a new A.T.V. for the non-profit organization, which patrols over 50 miles of shoreline from the Virginia border to South Nags Head. “During the summer monitoring season, this A.T.V. will help us locate sea turtle nests” said N.E.S.T. Treasurer Chris Pruitt. “When a nest is found, we are able to help ensure its hatchlings reach the ocean safely.”
The A.T.V. will also be used to move sick or injured sea turtles discovered in N.E.S.T.-patrolled areas. These turtles are eventually transported to the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (S.T.A.R.) Center, a 3,000 sq. ft. facility which opened in June 2014 at the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Here, volunteers partner with Aquarium staff to care for the animals until they are healthy enough for release.
Visit nestonline.org to learn more about N.E.S.T. and sea turtle conservation along the Outer Banks.