Observers are patrolling Virginia Beach's coast at night, looking for signs of nesting sea turtles.

Their goal is to protect turtle nests from heavy machinery being used to conduct beach replenishment work.

The team from East Coast Observers goes out on ATVs every two hours from sunset to sunrise. That's when turtles usually nest and hatch.

East Coast Observers founder Trish Bargo tells the Virginian-Pilot that the observers will contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if they see a turtle nesting in the construction area. The turtle will then be relocated to a safer area.

Five sea turtles were found in Virginia Beach last year. Bargo says none have been found in the dredging areas this year so far.