Father-daughter lecture sheds light on sea turtle nesting


Holly King

Ashby King and other NEST volunteers excavate sea turtle nest on Jul. 30.

For seven years, Math and Science Academy coordinator James King and his daughter Ashby King have volunteered with Nesting of Endangered Sea Turtles. NEST is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the habitats and migration routes of Sea Turtle and other marine animals on the Outer Banks.

“Sea Turtles are actually endangered and the conservation of them is important to make sure they remain populated, to try to get them off the endangered species list,” said Ashby.

“Sea Turtles have moved from endangered to threatened with the conservation efforts of NEST and other conservation groups along the east coast the United States,” said King.

Nesting sites are open to the public, in fact, as many as 150 people come to watch the turtles hatch and make their way to the water.

“Our conservation comes with the benefit of watching the nest, keeping it as natural as possible, it also educates the public for those that want to join us in NEST,” said King. “Our average nest from the public coming up to watch averages anywhere from 50 to 150 around, so every time we’re educating more people about the conservation efforts and the importance of sea turtles.”

The Kings gave a lecture to students at Ocean Lakes on Nov. 6 to provide insight on the nestings and how they benefit the species.

“I think it spread the word about how they are threatened, and there is a lot you can do to help them besides just using a metal straw,” said Ashby.

Academy lectures are given once a month. The next lecture is scheduled for December.