Sunrise Nest Excavation

Mornings in August & September

The Sunrise Nest Excavation program is a unique opportunity for Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) educators to give the public insight into LMC’s research department. With permission from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a permitted staff member will lead guests down onto Juno, Jupiter 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 memento.

Sunrise Nest Excavations are $24 per person. All individuals, including children, are required to pre-register online to reserve their spot. Children must be 10 years or older to attend the excavations and all participants must be able to walk up to half a mile.

Spots are limited per program and dates fill up quickly. There is no guarantee that a nest will be available for excavation and there is no guarantee that guests will be able to observe hatchlings in their natural environment. All scheduled Sunrise Nest Excavations have the same odds of the group experiencing a nest excavation with live hatchlings. There are no refunds on tickets if a nest is not excavated or hatchlings are not seen.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
Please meet at the front door of LMC no later than 7 am for your scheduled program.

What time should I arrive?
Check-in for pre-registered guests begins promptly at 6:45am at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. If you are walking in and have not pre-registered online, we suggest you arrive at 6:30am. We will not be accepting walk-ins for this program as we are restricted to the number of participants by FWC.

Can I bring my children?
Sorry, but children under 10 are not permitted on this program.

What should I wear?
The program is held entirely outdoors. While we will have some available for our guests, we suggest you pre-apply sunscreen and bug spray prior to your arrival to campus to ensure a timely start to the program. Comfortable walking shoes are strongly suggested, as we will be walking in soft, loose sand. If an excavation is held during your program, you will be sitting and observing for 30-45 minutes in the direct sun, so hats are strongly recommended for additional sun protection.

What if it’s raining?
We run our program rain or shine and only stay off the beach in the event of lightning. We cannot offer refunds for any reason but all ticket sales directly benefit Loggerhead Marinelife Center, our sea turtles and our mission.

What happens if there are no nests to excavate on the day of my program?
Unfortunately, the sea turtles don’t run on our program schedule! If there is no nest that needs excavating on the day of your program, all guests will enjoy a beach ecology talk and tours of the Exhibit Hall to learn about the nesting and hatchling processes of sea turtles.

What are my chances to witness an excavation or see live hatchlings?
There is absolutely NO way to predict if there will be a nest that is ready to excavate on any given day. Each program begins with a brief beach walk and ecology talk that will educate guests on sea turtle crawl identification, nesting and hatchling processes, and the research projects currently underway at LMC. Although hatchlings are often found in nests during excavations, if you do get to witness an excavation there is NO guarantee a hatchling will be found. We’re just happy they all made it out to sea naturally!

How does the program work?
Hatching is highest for loggerhead sea turtles in August and September. During these months, we offer this program to the public Wednesday - Sundays under a required permit issued by the state of Florida. Once registered for a program, guests come to the center to check in and are led down to the beach to enjoy the program.

How long is the program?
The program begins promptly at 7 a.m. and concludes at 8:30 a.m. with a tour of LMC’s Exhibit Hall. Check-in for the program is at 6:45 a.m. for pre-registered guests and we will not be accepting walk-ins for this program.

Can I take pictures?
Yes, you are welcome to take pictures of your experience with us!

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 6:45 a.m. and wait to see if other ticket holders do not show. We will not be accepting walk-ins for this program.