Record Sea Turtle Nesting Prompts More Beach Driving Closures

Jul 16, 2019

A Wildlife Protection Zone sign near a successfully hatched sea turtle nest. The most common sea turtle along Cape Lookout National Seashore is the loggerhead, which are about three feet in length and weigh approximately 250 lbs.
Credit NPS Photo

Record sea turtle nesting at Cape Lookout National Seashore is restricting vehicle access for the next two months. Superintendent Jeff West said in a press release Tuesday that the beach closures to off road vehicles will vary and change depending on the incubation periods of the nests. 

"We will put in temporary bypass routes when we can, but access to ocean side beaches will be more restricted than normal for the next two months," said West.

Currently, 26.8 miles out of 45 miles of beach are closed to vehicles. Resource managers have recorded 404 established sea turtle nests along Cape Lookout National Seashore, with additional nests likely through September. The previous record was 352 nests in 2016. Cape Lookout National Seashore lists current information on beach closures on their website.