The Topsail Turtle Project was organized by Karen Beasley, as she saw the need to preserve and protect the Sea Turtle nests, nesting females and hatchlings on the 26 miles of coastline on Topsail Island. After Karen’s early death, the torch was passed on to her mother, Jean Beasley, today the Executive Director of both the nesting program and the rehabilitation center.
The dream of a rehabilitation center was realized through the tireless efforts of the Beasley family; their financial support; the support of the project members; and the generous donations of money, time and material from local residents, businesses and visitors.
After breaking ground in May 2010, the new Sea Turtle Center facility in Surf City, NC opened its doors on November 7th, 2013. After years of working in a crowded, cramped 900 square-foot space, caring for up to 40 turtles, the center moved into its new 13,000+ square-foot building.
Rescue Center Mission Statement
- The conservation and protection of all species of marine turtles both in the water and on the beach
- The rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick and injured sea turtles
- To inform and educate the public regarding the plight of all sea turtles and the threat of their extinction
- To provide an experiential learning site for students of biology, wildlife conservation, and/or veterinary medicine from around the world.