Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s public summertime beach programs to highlight sea turtle research

Summertime in South Florida can only mean one thing – peak sea turtle nesting season! With 2016 being a busy year for Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s research team – including a record-breaking year for loggerhead nests along the 9.5 miles of beach LMC monitors – LMC is thrilled to share the excitement of nesting season with the public through two unique programs: Biologist Beach Walks and Hatchling Releases.

Biologist Beach Walks present a unique opportunity for LMC educators to give the public insight into the center’s research department. With permission from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a permitted staff member will lead guests down onto Juno or Tequesta beaches to discuss the nesting and hatching processes of sea turtles. After an introduction to these processes, guests may have the opportunity to witness a live excavation and create their own data sheets to take home as a souvenir. Biologist Beach Walks run every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings in August and September. $12 per person; $10 for LMC members. Walk-ins are a flat rate of $15, and a spot is not guaranteed.

Hatchling Releases are a unique experience that allows visitors to learn about sea turtles and the nesting and hatching process. The program begins with an exclusive, behind-the-gate tour to meet our current sea turtle patients, followed by a presentation. The program ends with a trip to the beach to see LMC staff release sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean. Hatchling Releases run seven days a week in August and are $17 per person; $12 per person for LMC members. Walk-ins are a flat rate of $20, and a spot is not guaranteed.Hatchling_release(web)

All individuals, including children, are required to pre-register online to reserve their spot for either program. Children must be 8 years or older to attend either program and all participants must be able to walk up to half a mile in soft sand. The programs will not be cancelled due to inclement weather.

All scheduled Biologist Beach Walks and Hatchling Releases give the group the same odds of experiencing a nest excavation with live hatchlings. There are no refunds on tickets if a nest is not excavated or hatchlings are not seen.

For more information about these programs or to register, visit www.marinelife.org/beach-programs.