North Carolina

Group fears bright lights attracted sea turtle hatchlings

Volunteers who watch sea turtles nest fear more than 100 hatchlings were lost because they were attracted to artificial lights instead of the light of the moon.

Nancy Fahey of the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project tells The StarNews of Wilmington that 112 sea turtle hatchlings broke through their shells early on Aug. 1 after volunteers had quit watching the nest. She says she found turtle tracks under a pier and other places.

She hopes the city can find a way to address problems with artificial lights.

Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens says most structures with problematic lighting predate the city's lighting ordinance. He says one solution may be to ask property owners to shield bright lights when a nearby nest is nearing the end of its incubation period.