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Reservations Open May 15th for Turtle Watch Program at Canaveral National Seashore


Loggerhead sea turtle on the beach. Photo by danbodenstein via Flickr.

Rangers at Florida's Canaveral National Seashore are providing an unusual opportunity in June to visit undisturbed beaches to watch a loggerhead sea turtle nesting. Space for these conducted trips in June is limited and reservations can be made starting on May 15th.

Here's what you need to know:

Starting Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 9:00 a.m., staff at Canaveral National Seashore will begin taking telephone reservations for this year’s June Turtle Watch programs. The number to call is (386) 428-3384.

The programs are open to all persons eight (8) years of age and older. Programs are limited to thirty persons per night with a maximum of six (6) persons per reservation call. The fee for this program is $14.00 per person ages 16 and above, 15 and under are free. Persons with Access or a Senior Pass receive a 50% discount for the cardholder only. Children must be 8 years old to participate.

While visitors are not guaranteed a view of a nesting sea turtle, the 2008 success rate exceeded 75%. Fees will not be refunded if a sea turtle is not found; however unfavorable weather conditions may be cause for a refund of fees if the program is canceled. During June 2009, programs are scheduled on most Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

In the North District at Apollo Beach, programs will run from 8:00 p.m. until Midnight on June 3,4,5,6,10,11,12,13,17,18,19,20,24,25,26, and 27.

In the South District at Playalinda Beach, programs will run from 8:00 p.m. until Midnight on June 3,4,5,6,10,11,12,13,17,18,19,20,24,25,26, and 27.

Please have several dates in mind when you call and we ask that you keep your calls brief. Further information and instruction will be sent to you within two (2) weeks of your phone call. Turtle Watch programs give park visitors an opportunity to learn about sea turtles and the role that the National Park Service plays in their conservation.

Five species of sea turtles occur in Canaveral National Seashore waters, and all—including loggerheads—are federally classified as threatened or endangered.

The park website includes maps, driving directions and other information to help you plan a visit.


I called about 2 weeks ago and again today and left a message. I hope I hear from you soon.

Hello, I will be in your area 7/2 and 7/3/12. Are you having turtle watches in July? I need reservations for 6 people if you do on either night. My name is Michael Repolesk.

W==Hello we ve come all the way from Europe and would like to know if there is a possibility to do "night watching" for turtles with our 8 year s old daughter. Can you please tell us how we can book for next tuesday July 31 2012 or if it is possible and where to do iton our own!Thanks for the help since it s our daughter s dream.

Alexandra -

National Parks Traveler does not have any official connection with the National Park Service, so I'm afraid we can't help you with reservations for the program.

However, I checked the park website for information, and hope the following will be useful for you.

The phone number to call for reservations for Turtle Watch programs is 386-428-3384. They began taking reservations in June, so I don't know what the status might be now.

According to the schedule posted earlier this summer, the Tutle Watch programs for 2012 were scheduled to run most Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat nights between July 5 and 29, with the last programs listed for July 27 and 29, 2012.

The park headquarters is only open Monday-Friday from 8 to 4:30 Eastern Time. That phone number is 321-267-1110.

You might be able to reach someone on a weekend from noon to 4 pm at 321-267-1110. I was unable to find a phone number for the park's temporary visitor center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

The park website is:

I hope you'll be able to find some information to make your visit to the area a good one!

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