Turtle Watch at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Perhaps THE prime loggerhead nesting area
Turtle Watch Program
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is probably the best place in
Florida to view a nesting sea turtle.
As many as 1,000 nests per mile have been recorded. That totals 15,000 to 20,000 nests each season in the 20 mile section of refuge coastline extending from Melbourne Beach to Wabasso Beach.
So joining a turtle watch here is a golden opportunity--and one much sought. Guided turtle watches are offered in June and July.
Reservations for turtle watches from the Barrier Island Management and Ecosystem Center are taken Tuesday through Sunday starting May 1st at 321/723-3556. The fee is $15 (collected at time of reservation). Turtle Watches are held Monday through Friday in June and July, from 9 pm to midnight.
Although turtles are common here they won't necessarily be close to your starting point. Walks on the beach may last up to a mile and the entire evening program lasts 3 hours. Minimum age is 7 and anyone who has trouble walking discouraged.
Bug spray, long pants and long sleeves advised for mosquitoes. Bring water, too. However, flashlights, flash photography and filming are not permitted.
More Information: Archie Carr National Wildlife Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 1339 20th Street,Vero Beach, Fl 32960-3559. Phone 772/469-4275. Website Look under Sea Turtle Watch Programs.The Refuge is open daily from sunrise to sunset. No day use fees.
Going northbound on I-95: Exit Fellsmere / Sebastian SR 512 east to SR510, then to A1A. Head north on A1A approximately two miles. An entrance sign located at Golden Sands County Park designates the southern boundary. Access to the refuge is managed through County-managed parks and Sebastian Inlet State Park.
Going southbound on I-95: Exit Melbourne taking US 192 east to A1A. Head south on A1A approximately 5 miles to get to the northern boundary of the Refuge. An entrance sign located at Coconut Point Park designates the northern boundary of the Refuge.