SURF CITY, N.C.--It's summer time and that means it's also sea turtle nesting season.
Each day volunteers start combing North Carolina beaches at the crack of dawn to find and protect sea turtle nests.
In 2012 there have been over 50 nests on Topsail Island and nesting season is a little over half way done.
In 2011, the Topsail Island Sea Turtle Patrol found 110 nests, which produced more than 9,300 hatchlings.
Volunteer Jamie Getz found a nest in Surf City while on a patrol and she says protecting endangered species is what drives her to start walking the beach before sunrise.
"I come really just for the walk and for the sunrise and I've been collecting trash and I thought if that's all I do this summer then that was something but finding a nest, it was pretty magical," said Getz.
Once Getz found the nest she called coordinator Pam Refosco to the site to make sure there were eggs and to see what needed to be done to protect them.
Refosco says they will mark the nest with signs, cover it with mesh to protect it from predators and even move eggs that may have been laid in an unsafe location.
"We make sure that the nest is in a safe place and if it's not, for instance, if it's below the high tide line that's not a safe spot to leave a nest so the coordinator would have to move the nest to higher ground," said Refosco.
During one nesting season a single turtle could make as many as three or four nests, but that turtle will only lay eggs every couple of years.
Sea turtle nesting season runs from May through August.