Kicking off the 2024 Turtle Season

It’s been a busy start to Caswell Beach’s sea turtle season as we prepare for our 2024 nesting to begin.

Alot goes on behind the scenes of each season’s launch that may not be apparent to those not involved in our protection program. Here are just a few examples:

Morning Patrol Preparation

We cover more than 7 miles of beachfront on Caswell Beach and Southport, and having a working “beach buggy” is essential to our task. The buggy is stored over the winter, so getting it up and running is a priority in the spring. Our morning patrol team is up at the crack of dawn and drives the length of the beach looking for turtle nesting crawls. During busy times there can be several per day, but each crawl is marked, measured, and we are tasked with certifying nests and their locations. Keeping our buggy operational is a priority and your donations help keep us up and running.

Volunter Teams & Training

We also gear up on our education, starting with our annual meeting with North Carolina wildlife. These sessions are conducted with all authorized beach team leads, and help us prepare for regulation changes for each new season. In turn, we prepare the education for our volunteer teams as we prepare for our season kickoff meetings.

Nest Monitoring

Every year, the NC Sea Turtle Project evaluates the data we and others collect (see our related post on last season’s data). Based upon their research, it updates the guidelines for how we must conduct nest monitoring. This affects how we protect each nest – the signage, barriers, runway methods, and especially beach visitor education that helps us protect turtles. Each year we learn, we update, and as a result, we are seeing successful increase in sea turtle numbers.

We look forward to seeing our many repeat and also new visitors on Caswell Beach this summer! Come join us!