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6 May 2024
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Best of Oak Island

Nesting Season in North Carolina

Starting in early to mid-May and continuing through September, female sea turtles flock to the shores of Caswell Beach and Oak Island for the annual sea turtle nesting season. As local residents and vacationers, we all should do what we can to help save these protected species and to ensure a successful season!

NC Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Tracking Turtle Activity

The most common species we see along the North Carolina shores include Loggerheads, Greens, Hawksbills, Leatherbacks, and Kemp's Ridleys. On Caswell Beach and Oak Island, we tend to see Loggerhead nests the mosts.  In 2023, the Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Network reported that North Carolina saw 1,617 Loggerhead nests and 97 Green nests.

On Caswell and Oak Island, there are 2 main conservation groups comprised of volunteers who track nest activity by monitoring the beach, hatchings, strandings, and much more!

Caswell Beach Turtle Watch

Oak Island Sea Turtle Protection Program

Depending on your location, if you come in contact with a stranded or injured/deceased turtle, you hook a sea turtle when fishing, or you find signs of nest activity, you should contact the appropriate conservation group. They are supervised and authorized by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to protect the endangered species. You may also call the NC Wildlife Resources Commission directly using their 24-hour hotline at (252) 241-7367.

Protecting NC Sea Turtles

Help Protect Nesting Turtles

While the fun starts here with Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc., REALTORS®, we want to encourage those that live locally and our vacationers to do what we can to protect the natural habitat and native species. Not only do we want to make sure we have a beach to come to every year, we want to continue sharing the special experiences like sea turtle hatchings for years to come! Whether you're a resident or staying here for a few days, there are ways we all can help to protect these species.

  • For oceanfront properties, keep ocean-facing lights off during the night. Try to use curtains or blinds for interior lights. Lights can confuse turtles that use the moon's light to return to the ocean after laying eggs.
  • If you come in contact with a turtle laying her eggs, do not shine lights on them. Stay at least 20 feet away of any turtle coming on to or leaving the beach, or in the process of laying her eggs.
  • Refrain from making noises and try to stay quiet. Loud noises can disturb the turtle and discourage her from laying her eggs.
  • Do not take flash photography of any kind.
  • Please remove all trash and beach gear (chairs, canopies, volleyball nets, etc.) from the beach when you leave for the day. 
  • Please fill in all holes and leave the beach area as flat as possible. (This is for the turtles' safety as well as other wildlife and humans.)
  • Do not walk on the dunes.

Find Your Vacation Rental

Traveling to Caswell Beach and Oak Island during the summer is special for many reasons, and not just because it's turtle nesting season! For help in finding the perfect rental for your family or group, search through our inventory online or give us a call at (800) 486-5441.