Network for Endangered Sea Turtles
Friends we Remember
In Memory of Michael "Mike" Piatak (long time N.E.S.T. Suppporter)
Michael “Mike” Piatak, 31, passed away on Tuesday, February 21st, at his home in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
Mike was a 2002 graduate of the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, earning his bachelor of sciences in both biology and marine biology. He began his NPS career as a biological technician at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the spring of 2008, becoming a permanent lead biological science technician in 2010. His dedication to the conservation of sea turtles and marine mammals was unsurpassed and began much earlier than his Park Service career. In 1990 Mike began his lifelong commitment to protect coastal wildlife by volunteering with the sea turtle program at Fort Caswell, North Carolina.
Mike was a good friend of N.E.S.T. and spent much of his winter in the Outer Banks patrolling the shoreline for cold stun turtles. He made regular appearances at the animal clinic and in one single day, he brought a record 7 turtles for rehab.
Mike was happiest in the ocean/beach environment in which he lived and worked. Nothing pleased him more than watching his lab “Shadow” play in the surf. Mike was an avid fisherman, whether chasing trout in the clear freshwater streams of mountainous South Carolina or heaving chunks of sea mullet in hopes of landing that trophy red drum from the frigid Atlantic waters. He was also an outstanding cook and favored traditional Southern cuisine. Nothing could beat his low country boil or grilled baby back pork ribs.
One thing everyone can agree on is that Mike had a big heart. He was there for anyone, no matter what or when – and that’s what made him a standout. He is greatly missed by family, friends, and co-workers and will live on in our memory as a symbol of dedication and inspiration.
The Piatak family and park staff held a celebration of Mike’s life at Coquina Beach on February 25, 2012. Memorial contributions can be made in Mike’s honor to the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) at the link below:
In Loving Memory of Mike Piatak
In Loving Memory of Barbara E. Mason (N.E.S.T.Volunteer)
Barbara E. Mason, a resident of Kitty Hawk, entered into rest suddenly on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at the place she loved the most, the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She is a former resident of Spotsylvania, VA; and was president of the Title Company of Virginia of Fredericksburg. After retirement, she was an active member of N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles) rescuing injured, stranded sea turtles and other beach wildlife on the Outer Banks. She loved and lived the beautiful sunrises, long walks on the beach, and capturing gorgeous photographs. Barbara’s charm and wit touched the lives of so many; she is loved and will be greatly missed.
A mother, daughter, sister, and true friend – she remains forever in our hearts.
P.O. Box 1168
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
REPORT ALL NESTING TURTLES, TURTLE CRAWLS, stranded/dead turtles, OR HATCHING EVENTS on the Outer Banks to the