Hatchling loggerhead making its way to the sea.

There is a lot written about how close to nature the Outer Banks are, and here it is sea turtle nesting season and more evidence comes to light.

The Outer Banks is about as far north as the nesting activity goes, but there is a fair amount of it in the area during the summer. There are four species of turtles that lay eggs on our beaches—loggerhead and green turtles are the most common, and an occasional leatherback and Kemp's Ridley will also show up.

It is pretty rare to find a nest or to see a female come ashore and burrow into the sand, but it does happen, and there are some really important guidelines to follow if a turtle or a nest is found.

Probably the most important thing to remember is do not shine lights on the turtles at night. It will confuse them and they may return to the sea without laying eggs. 

Perhaps just as important, or at least to be done as soon as possible—contact the folks at N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles), a local organization that has built a well-deserved reputation for knowing how to work with nature in a beach environment teaming with people. 

To contact the N.E.S.T. Hotline call 252-441-8622.