Rangers at Florida's Canaveral National Seashore are providing an unusual opportunity in June to visit undisturbed beaches to watch a loggerhead sea turtle nesting. Space for these conducted trips in June is limited and reservations can be made starting on May 15th.
Here's what you need to know:
Starting Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 9:00 a.m., staff at Canaveral National Seashore will begin taking telephone reservations for this year’s June Turtle Watch programs. The number to call is (386) 428-3384.
The programs are open to all persons eight (8) years of age and older. Programs are limited to thirty persons per night with a maximum of six (6) persons per reservation call. The fee for this program is $14.00 per person ages 16 and above, 15 and under are free. Persons with Access or a Senior Pass receive a 50% discount for the cardholder only. Children must be 8 years old to participate.
While visitors are not guaranteed a view of a nesting sea turtle, the 2008 success rate exceeded 75%. Fees will not be refunded if a sea turtle is not found; however unfavorable weather conditions may be cause for a refund of fees if the program is canceled. During June 2009, programs are scheduled on most Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
In the North District at Apollo Beach, programs will run from 8:00 p.m. until Midnight on June 3,4,5,6,10,11,12,13,17,18,19,20,24,25,26, and 27.
In the South District at Playalinda Beach, programs will run from 8:00 p.m. until Midnight on June 3,4,5,6,10,11,12,13,17,18,19,20,24,25,26, and 27.
Please have several dates in mind when you call and we ask that you keep your calls brief. Further information and instruction will be sent to you within two (2) weeks of your phone call. Turtle Watch programs give park visitors an opportunity to learn about sea turtles and the role that the National Park Service plays in their conservation.
Five species of sea turtles occur in Canaveral National Seashore waters, and all—including loggerheads—are federally classified as threatened or endangered.
The park website includes maps, driving directions and other information to help you plan a visit.