Evenings in August
Online registration for 2020 is now open.
The Hatchling Release program at Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a unique experience that allows our visitors to learn about sea turtles and the nesting and hatching process. The program begins with an after-hours experience to view our current patients in our outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, followed by a presentation and ends with a trip to the beach to see LMC staff release sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean.
Hatchling Releases are $22 per person or $20 per person for our LMC members. Walk-ins are a rate of $22, and a spot is not guaranteed and dates fill up quickly. All individuals, including children, are required to pre-register online to reserve their spot. Children must be 10 years or older to attend a hatchling release and all participants must be able to walk up to half a mile.
The private tour and hatchling release are weather permitting. We run our program rain or shine and only stay off the beach in the event of lightning. During this waiting period, guests will be onsite enjoying their presentation. We do not cancel the program due to inclement weather. If the forecast calls for rain, we recommend guests wear raincoats or ponchos. There are no refunds on tickets.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
On the night of your Hatchling Release program, please enter through the front entrance of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and check in at the desk. Doors open at 7:45pm and the program will begin promptly at 8:00pm.
What time should I arrive?
Doors open promptly at 7:45pm and guests should arrive at this time. Doors will be locked at 8:00pm.
What should I do before the program?
Check out our evening guided tours in June-August, Wednesday - Saturday at 6 p.m. Register on our calendar for your desired date: marinelife.org/calendar
Can I bring my children?
Sorry, but children under 10 are not permitted on the Hatchling Release program.
What should I wear?
Dark clothing is preferred to minimize the impact on nesting sea turtles. Bug spray and comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended.
What if it’s raining?
We run our program rain or shine and only stay off the beach in the event of lightning. During this waiting period, guests will be onsite enjoying their presentation. We do not cancel the program due to inclement weather. If the forecast calls for rain, we recommend guests wear raincoats or ponchos. No umbrellas please. If there is lightning at the conclusion of the program, we will not go to the beach. We cannot offer refunds for any reason, but all ticket sales directly benefit our center, our sea turtle patients and our mission.
Will we see a sea turtle nesting?
Nesting season continues on our beaches until October 31, however we will not be viewing nesting turtles during this program. If you are interested in viewing the nesting process, please sign up for a Turtle Walk.
Will we see a nest hatch?
We cannot predict when nests will hatch. We will be releasing hatchlings that have recently hatched and been excavated by our trained research staff.
How does the program work?
The Hatchling Release program begins with an exclusive behind the gates tour of our sea turtle yard. This is followed by a presentation in our Learning Center about sea turtles and conservation. The evening concludes with a trip to the beach to view hatchlings being released to the ocean. The private tour and hatchling release are weather permitting.
Are we guaranteed to see hatchlings being released?
The hatchlings we are releasing come from nests excavated earlier in the day by our research team. The number of nests being excavated, species of the nests and number of hatchlings found in the nest varies by day so we cannot guarantee hatchlings every single night. The hatchling release portion of the program is also weather dependent. We cannot offer refunds for any reason, but all ticket sales directly benefit our center, our sea turtle patients and our mission.
Will we get to touch a sea turtle?
No, only staff on our permit are allowed to touch the sea turtle hatchlings.
Can I bring a flashlight?
Sorry, flashlights are not permitted.
Can I take pictures?
We do not allow the use of flash photography or any photography (cell phones or digital cameras) that utilizes a lighted LCD screen.
What if all the dates or the session I wanted are sold out?
If the date you wanted is booked and you want to take a chance, come to Loggerhead Marinelife Center at 7:30pm and wait to see if other ticket holders do not show. Walk-ins are a flat rate of $22 and we cannot guarantee your entire party will be able to be accommodated.