By the Numbers: Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project

BY Michelle Billman


The final tally for live turtles that made it to sea from this nest which was excavated in early August by volunteers for the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project.


The number of hatchlings that appeared on their first emergence from the nest without any human help.


The number of days in a typical sea turtle incubation period. After this period ends many turtles begin to emerge from the nest on their own


The number of stragglers — turtles that are not strong enough to leave the nest on their own. Project coordinator Nancy Fahey says that the turtles use each other as ladders climbing over one another to leave the nest. She adds that some of these stragglers might not have survived if their nest hadn’t been found by Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project volunteers.


The unusually long stretch of nights beginning near the end of incubation when volunteers waited with this nest anticipating that the turtles would emerge.


The approximate number of years the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project has been in action. Fahey explains “Our primary goal as a group is to find and protect hatchlings in the Wrightsville Beach area.” In order to protect the hatchlings they find volunteers plan excavations closely watch each nest during incubation periods and relocate any nests found in unsafe areas. In addition to these duties Fahey says that the group “attempts to rescue any sick or injured turtles in the area.” These turtles are taken to The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Island.


The number of days per week that volunteers monitor their assigned section of Wrightsville Beach. The group meets early each spring to divvy up the turtle-watching duties for the summer.

To learn more or get involved visit