As waters raged, N.E.S.T. went to workBy Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on September 24, 2020As Hurricane Teddy churned off the coast and prompted important ocean overwash alongside the Outer Banks this week, volunteers from the Community for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) had been holding an in depth eye on sea turtle nests that had not but hatched on the northern Outer Banks.N.E.S.T.’s NC Wildlife Fee advisor Karen Clark informed the Voice that earlier than the storm, there have been 15 remaining nests within the group’s protection space, which stretches from the Virginia line to the southern boundary of Nags Head.She stated that when the tough climate passes, N.E.S.T. volunteers will assess these nests. However during the last week – earlier than and in the course of the storms – the group’s volunteers had been working to observe the nests and save those they may.Whereas N.E.S.T. volunteers are aware of hurricanes coming via at a time when many nests are on the brink of hatch, Clark stated this most up-to-date storm occasion felt totally different with it staying offshore, no evacuation orders, and volunteers remaining on the island whereas the nests had been being hammered by heavy surf.Clark stated that N.E.S.T. volunteers relocated at the very least two nests that had turn into uncovered in the course of the storm. “We had volunteers out there dodging the tides when eggs were exposed. Once the eggs were exposed, they got re-located.”When the storm got here via, she stated, some nests had been close to emergence “so we’ve sent off a couple of nests [to the ocean] actually during the storm.” In a single case, Clark stated the escarpment was encroaching on a nest in Duck and volunteers went out to observe to see if it could attain the nest.“Sure enough, it cut through the sand and just a ball of little hatchlings just went swimming out into the ocean,” she stated.Additionally, on the morning of Sept. 18, earlier than the storm struck, the group evacuated a Kill Satan Hills nest the place they knew the hatchlings had already emerged. “We opened that one up and got the hatchlings out before the next high tide…and sent them right out into the ocean,” Clark famous.“Some might have just a little bit of sand left on top of them while others are absolutely buried in sand, and so we’ll take the levels back closer to kind of the original height [of sand],” Clark stated. “There are a few that have been underwater for a good amount of time and once we get past a certain date after the storm, we will probably go in and evaluate the eggs, and probably excavate those.”Clark famous that indicators marking off turtle nests had been eliminated in anticipation of the storm. If beachgoers do see areas which are quartered off and may seem like a nest, she requested that they proceed to respect these areas. Additionally, with the storm and rising nests, there could possibly be hatchlings that wash up on the seashore. In that case, Clark suggested one of the best plan of action was to attempt to get them again to the water or name the N.E.S.T. hotline.There have been 36 sea turtle nests this season in N.E.S.T.’s protection space, the second highest rely on document — behind 2016 when there have been 52, based on Clark. She added that whereas there may be positively an ebb and circulation to the variety of nests yr to yr, the general quantity within the Outer Banks area during the last 10 years has been growing.