Sea turtles are one of the Earth’s most ancient creatures. The seven species that live today have been around for 110 million years, since the time of the dinosaurs. Five species – Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley, Green, Hawksbill, and Leatherback – can be found along the coast of North Carolina. Now the very survival of all sea turtles is either threatened or critically endangered due to among other things, entanglement in fishing gear, poaching and illegal trade, coastal development, marine debris, global warming, and ocean pollution.
In order to combat these threats N.E.S.T. needs your help on the Outer Banks in protecting sea turtle nests and hatchlings, rescuing injured sea turtles and reaching out to the public about the challenges to sea turtle survival.
Join One of Our Turtle Teams
- Nesting Response Team
- ATV Crawl Patrol Team
- Nest Sitting Team
- Cold Stun Stranding Response
- Rehabilitation Team
- Education Committee
- Fundraising Committee
- Board of Directors
Training is mandatory for all active NEST volunteers. Because sea turtles are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), anyone handling a sea turtle or sea turtle eggs must have an ESA permit. You can get a permit once you attend training classes.
Training is available during certain times of the year in:
- Nest identification and verification
- Nest sitting
- Turtle stranding and rescue
- Turtle rehabilitation
- ATV beach nest patrol
- Marine mammals
Go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/EducationCenters/OuterBanks/EventRegistration.aspx to sign up for training. Once you become a volunteer you will receive regular emails about training opportunities and N.E.S.T. activities.
Lets Spring Forward to Trainings!
As we are now in the winter season, our offered trainings have begun to slow down. More training’s will become available in the spring to gear up for sea turtle nesting season. Below is a list of the different classes that will be offered in the spring. Dates for the spring training’s are to be determined and all classes have descriptions of who should attend. Remember, training is required annually so if you wish to participate this coming season, be sure to attend each team that interests you (but you need only attend one of the many sessions offered this fall). For greater description of each class, check out the online calendar.
NEST Upcoming Spring Trainings
- Volunteer Orientation & Natural History – for new volunteers and those looking to refresh
- Nesting Response – for volunteers interested in being responsible for late night and early morning responses to nesting activity on our beaches
- ATV Crawl Patrol – for volunteers who commit once a week to ride the beach at sunrise patrolling for turtle crawls from the end of May into the beginning of September. Open spaces will first be offered to Nesting Response Team members with experience responding to crawls so interested volunteers should start with that team
- Stranding Response – for volunteers interested in responding to live and dead turtles that strand on the beach but spring trainings typically focus on dead response.
Below are the class offerings in chronological order. To see them on a calendar and to register online, visit our program online calendar. So check back if you don’t see the class you’re looking for.