Canaveral National Seashore - - Titusville, Florida - Press Release
National Park Service / Canaveral National Seashore
Headquarters: 308 Julia Street, Titusville, Florida 32796 -- (321) 267-1110
Information Center: 7611 South Atlantic Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 -- (904) 428-3384


MAY 1, 2000



FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandra Hines -- 321-867-4077

Each year between May and September, thousands of female loggerhead sea turtles come to the seashore beaches to deposit eggs in the warm sand. Nests consist of approximately 100 eggs that incubate for about 60 days before hatching.

With the season rapidly approaching, Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge are preparing for the annual Turtle Watch Programs at Playalinda Beach. The Turtle Watch is a unique experience and many people wait for years for an opportunity to see a nesting sea turtle. The program consists of an informative slide show presented at Merritt Island Wildlife Visitor Center and a trip to Canaveral National Seashore's Playalinda Beach to observe a nesting sea turtle.

Reservations for this summer's programs will be taken by telephone only on Saturday, May 20, beginning at 8:00 a.m. until all spaces are filled. The telephone number to call is 321-267-1110. No write in or walk in reservations will be allowed. Walks will take place on most Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during the month of June and July. Each caller may reserve space for up to five people for one program ONLY. Minimum age is eight years old due to a variety of factors including biting insects and the possibility of being on the beach until midnight or later.

All programs will begin at 8:00 p.m. at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Information Center located 4 miles East of Titusville on State Road 402, then proceed to Playalinda Beach to watch the nesting sea turtle. If no turtle if found by 11:00 p.m. the watch will conclude at that time.

The watches are conducted under a special permit from the Florida Department of Natural Resources. The following rules and regulations apply to protect the turtles and make the watch as enjoyable as possible for all visitors.

There is a possibility of a one or two-hour wait between time the slide presentation is over and a nesting turtle is located. Attendees must be capable of walking in low lighting conditions and up to 1/2 mile in the beach. Mosquitoes can be a problem so insect repellant is recommended.

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