Sea Turtles

There is no greater moment than viewing a 250-pound sea turtle glide through the ocean waves. Unless it's watching a baby sea turtle make its way to the sea. At North Carolina's Brunswick Islands, you can experience both of these magnificent happenings of the loggerhead sea turtle on Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, and Bald Head Island.

From nest to sea, the loggerhead is an extraordinary and monolithic creature that travels great distances to lay its eggs on our shores from May to August. Sea turtle hatchings begin in July and may continue into October.

Sea Turtle Protection and "Turtle Talks"

With conservation practices in place, you will find that during turtle season our beaches are home to a multitude of protected nests managed by sea turtle protection organizations. These organizations seek to educate locals and visitors about the importance of keeping these amazing sea creatures safe.

A newly-hatched baby sea turtle scurries towards the beach to begin a life in the open ocean

Many groups offer free seminars, tours, and information about protecting the loggerhead turtles. In fact, several of our beaches offer free "Turtle Talks" during the summer in order to educate folks about sea turtles and provide insight into ways we can help protect this endangered species. See our calendar of events for details.

Sea turtle protection organization/turtle watch volunteers monitor nests and update information continuously regarding the status of each nest. The volunteers keep statistics on the number of current nests, known eggs, and the total baby turtles that have made it to the ocean. All the turtle watch or sea turtle protection organizations in the Brunswick Islands maintain websites. Visit these sea turtle program websites for Sunset BeachOcean Isle BeachHolden BeachOak IslandCaswell Beach, or Bald Head Island for more information.

Visitor Tips for Sea Turtle Conservation

Sea turtles are a special part of the summer experience at North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. While sea turtle sightings are exciting, we all must do our part to support the loggerhead turtles’ journey and keep them returning to our beaches. Check out our tips to creating a better beach environment for the sea turtles:

  1. Do not disturb a sea turtle as it makes its way to or from the ocean.
  2. Know how to spot a sea turtle nest and do not disturb. Nests will typically be numbered and marked by surrounding fencing.
  3. Artificial lights may confuse the sea turtles and may prevent them from heading to the ocean. So avoid shining lights at the turtles and turn off all lights near the beach during nesting season.
  4. Be a responsible beachgoer and pick up all litter, fill in beach holes and remove your beach equipment.
  5. Avoid the use of flash photography in capturing a sea turtle sighting.
  6. Do not ever pick up a sea turtle.

Watch our Sea Turtle video.

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