Our Most Popular Questions, Answered

Q. How do I spot a sick or injured turtle?
A: A healthy sea turtle will periodically poke its head out of the water to breathe, as sea turtles are reptiles that breathe oxygen. An injured sea turtle will often float on the surface of the water. An injured sea turtle that is found ashore will often be found at the high tide line and appear listless and/or emaciated.

Q: What type of sea turtles nest at Wrightsville Beach?
A: Primarily loggerhead sea turtles, which are classified as a threatened species by the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act.

Q: When is sea turtle nesting season in Wrightsville Beach?
A: Sea turtle nesting season in coastal North Carolina takes place between May and the end of August.

Q: Can you tell me when a nest is about to hatch?
A: No. There is unfortunately no way for us to know when a nest will hatch. Loggerhead sea turtle nests take approximately 60 days to incubate, so we calculate a “due date” based on the date on which we locate a nest. Much like a human due date, the hatchlings can actually emerge approximately 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after this due date. Additionally, loggerheads hatch at night and can emerge any time between dusk and dawn.

Attend one of our free, family-friendly turtle talks to learn more about sea turtles. They take place every Tuesday evening in June, July and August at 7 p.m. at the N.C. Coastal Federation's office on West Salisbury Street, Wrightsville Beach. You can also email us at wbturtlewatchers@gmail.com with questions or information requests.

Q: Do you have a physical location?
A: We do not. We are strictly a volunteer group. When we find sick or injured sea turtles, we transport them to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City.

Q: Do you post on Facebook when a nest has reached its “due date”? 
A: We do not post any information on the internet about the location or incubation period of nests. We receive a permit from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to carry out sea turtle conservation activities and are legally obligated to keep the nests as safe as possible.

Q: What should I do if I see a sick or injured sea turtle?
A: For any sea turtle emergency in the state of North Carolina, please call 252-241-7367. Sea turtle volunteers in the area will be dispatched.

Q: How can I volunteer with your organization?
A: Our volunteer season begins in late March or early April with a training meeting. As sea turtles are state and federally protected species, and we operate under legal permits, this meeting is mandatory for all new volunteers. Please email wbturtlewatchers@gmail.com if you would like to be notified of the next training meeting.

Q: Can kids volunteer for the WBSTP?
A. Kids must be at least 12 years of age and accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian to volunteer. Unfortunately, our volunteer activities are not very kid-friendly because we are on the beach, without restroom access, very late at night and very early in the morning. Volunteer activities also involve walking long distances, sitting quietly for hours at a time, and handling monetary transactions. For a kid-friendly and family-friendly option, please consider attending one of our Turtle Talks, which take place every Tuesday evening during June, July, and August at 7 p.m. at the North Carolina Coastal Federation building in Wrightsville Beach.