For the first time in 16 years, Leatherback hatchlings skitter to the sea

By on August 29, 2023

A Leatherback sea turtle hatchling entering the ocean. (credit: Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore 

After 70 days of incubation, 19 hatchlings started their journey to the ocean from the first Leatherback sea turtle nest found on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in 16 years.

On June 19, a nest with 93 eggs was laid on the beach and found in the early morning on a routine turtle patrol on Ocracoke Island. The Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest sea turtle in the world, weighing up to 2,000 pounds and measuring up to 6.5 feet as adults.


Since keeping record, here’s data from Leatherback nests that have had hatch activity on Cape Hatteras National Seashore:
  • 2007: Ocracoke Island
  • 2002: Hatteras Island
  • 2000: Hatteras Island


Now that our local sea turtle nests are starting to hatch, here’s how to help:

How Unattended Beach Equipment Impacts Sea Turtles and What You Can Do to Help
  • During sea turtle nesting season (May-October), items left on the beach can cause disturbance that may deter a nesting female from laying her eggs or may cause entanglement which compromises the health of the turtle.
  • Specific items of concern include chairs (any), canopies, volleyball nets and fishing equipment.
  • Any obstacles that sea turtles face on the beach have the potential to alter their perception of the nesting habitat and they may decide to nest elsewhere or the nest may be laid too close to the water’s edge.
  • Be sure to put-out any beach fires with sufficient water; fires left burning and unattended may cause harm to the nesting females.
  • Items left overnight on the beach are considered abandoned and are subject to removal if determined to directly alter the behavior of wildlife (i.e. sea turtles).




How Artificial Lights Impact Sea Turtles and What You Can Do to Help
  • For thousands of years, people have been turning their eyes upward to the stars. Whether to navigate their way across vast oceans, search for answers to the mysteries of life, or provide inspiration to create timeless works of art, the night sky has always been visible. But ever increasing light pollution impacts our view-artificial lights are decreasing the visibility of stars and other natural sky phenomena.
  • Light pollution also affects natural habitats and wildlife. For nocturnal animals, stray artificial light means the disruption of habitat. Animals often depend on darkness in order to hunt, conceal their location, navigate, or reproduce. This is made worse by the fact that many species have vision far more sensitive than human vision. Plants too can be affected by artificial light- you may have noticed that a tree beneath a bright streetlight loses its leaves later in autumn than other trees.
  • Sea turtles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore are affected by light pollution. Every summer, threatened and endangered sea turtles come to the Outer Banks to make their nests in the sand, crawling up on the beach at night to lay their eggs. Dark night provides them protection from predators. When faced with a light polluted beach, sea turtles will sometimes return to the sea and not lay their eggs.
  • From the nests that are laid, sea turtle hatchlings emerge at night to begin their journey down to the ocean’s edge. Natural darkness is key for their survival. Instead of being deterred by light, like their mothers, hatchlings will use light cues in order to find their way to the water safely. The young turtles instinctively crawl toward the brightest horizon. In areas of the park with natural darkness and no artificial light pollution, the waters of the Atlantic will reflect starlight and moonlight, making the water brighter than the land. When artificial lights make a horizon that is brighter than the water, hatchlings will crawl in the wrong direction and never reach the surf.
  • When visiting the park, you can help preserve the night sky. When staying in an oceanfront beach house, you can close blinds and turn off unnecessary outside lights. When taking a moonlit walk along the shore, use flashlights only when necessary. You can also decrease light pollution at home by installing outdoor lights that point light downward, not outward, and by using a less powerful lamp or bulb.
  • Beach fires (permits are required for beach fires) are also a source of artificial light. Make sure that you build your beach fire according to your permit to minimize your impact on turtle hatchlings.
  • The loss of the night sky does not have to happen. Protecting dark skies doesn’t mean throwing civilization back into the dark ages; it simply means that we need to make sure that artificial outdoor lights are used carefully, in ways that respect our human environment, wildlife, and the night sky that belongs to us all.

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Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: RooÔ¨Āng

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


Sussex Development is soliciting bids to turnkey supply and install FF&E for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School, 125 Campus Drive, Moyock, NC27929. This project is a new ground-up 2-story, Pre-K thru 5th grade school, approximately 118,000 square feet. Bid documents may be obtained through Christopher West Interiors LLC. Request bid documents via email to Pre-Bid RFIs will be accepted via email until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 5:00PM EST. Pricing proposals are due Wednesday, August 14, 2024 by 5:00PM EST. All bids and inquires to be sent to Certified NC Hub, MBE, WBE, DBE, SBE are highly encouraged to participate. Sussex Development is an EOE and maintains a drug-free workplace.


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