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Witness sea turtles nest at local turtle watches

Local parks offer opportunities to view sea turtles as they come ashore to nest on the beach during the summer nights. State regulations only permit turtle watches during the months of June and July so it's important to reserve spaces early with parks and organizations allowed to host them.

Turtle watches along the coast are led by trained naturalist using a special infrared flashlight that won't frighten or disorient the female as she proceeds with nesting. Participants receive instructions on the rules enforced on the watch, sea turtle education and an opportunity to view the two-hour nesting process up close. The following two Central Florida parks are running Turtle Watch programs.

Canaveral National Seashore

Turtle Watch programs are open to persons eight years of age and older and are limited to 40 participants (maximum of persons per reservation). The fee for the program is $14.00 for anyone over the age of 16 and free for those 15-years old and younger. Access and Senior Pass holders receive a 50% discount for the cardholder. Programs are held at both the Playalinda and Apollo Beach districts and run from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. For more information and to make reservations visit the Canaveral National Seashore website.

Sebastian Inlet State Park

Turtle Walks are held nightly, Friday through Tuesday, from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. during June and July. Reservations are required and group size is limited. Regular park fees apply. Reservations and information can be found at 772-388-2750 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For more information about the park visit the Sebastian Inlet State Park website.

For a list of other places holding Turtle Watches throughout the state visit the FWC website.