MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
As sea turtle nesting season concludes and hatchlings begin to stir in their shells, more than 30 children from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune were taught about the importance of conserving the small reptiles and other animals that make the base their home during Expedition: Onslow Beach’s Wildlife presentation, Aug. 14.
Expedition: Onslow Beach, is a monthly summer beach program that highlights different educational aspects of life aboard Camp Lejeune.
In the final session of the year, the program hosted Camp Lejeune’s Environmental Conservation personnel, who spoke to children about the wide range of animals aboard the base.
A day trip to the beach can lead to a greater understanding of the region through Expedition: Onslow Beach, said Ruth
Gooch, a reservations assistant with Onslow Beach who spearheaded the program.
“There’s a lot of knowledge to be had about Onslow Beach and Camp Lejeune,” said Gooch.
Children should learn about local wonders, said John Stuebe, a wildlife technician with Environmental Conservation aboard the base.
“It’s important for kids to be outside and for them to relate that what’s around them,” said Stuebe.
While Stuebe is a Camp Lejeune native who has always been an avid outdoorsman, he was unaware the base was home to sea turtles until adulthood, he said.
Expedition: Onslow Beach also gives children an educational alternative to the usual summer activities, said Kayla Stewart, a Marine veteran and parent who participated in the event.
“They learned about things they wouldn’t have learned otherwise,” said Stewart.
Les Pearson, a wildlife technician, spoke to the children about conservation and what children should do if they encounter hatchlings or a nesting sea turtle on the beach.
Pearson also discussed bears, foxes, bobcats, wolves, panthers, ospreys, bald eagles and other Camp Lejeune wildlife.
“(Expedition: Onslow Beach) is a fantastic opportunity, especially during the summertime,” said Dion Lynn, the general manager of Onslow Beach. “The kids love it. It’s educational, informative and free. Turnout gets better every year.”
For more information about year-round programs at Onslow Beach, call 440-6546 or visit mccslejeune.com/beach.
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