More than halfway through the turtle nesting season, volunteers with the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park-funded Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program are pleasantly surprised by the record number of nests they’ve recorded on the island’s shores.

Not only are there more nests this year than there have been in previous years of the program, which started in 2015, but turtles also are laying on beaches where nests have not previously been documented. In addition to the hawksbill nests that are common on St. John, program volunteers have also discovered the nest of a green sea turtle, previously thought not to utilize the island as a nesting habitat, in a curious location.