Female sea turtles like the South Florida shoreline for laying eggs. They waddle out from the waves in the darkness onto the beach, deposit dozens of eggs into a sand nest, then return to the water. It’s a part of nature that Florida residents delight in — especially if they see it in person.
Several organizations in South Florida offer educational programs about sea turtles, and include Turtle Walks on the beach at night for the opportunity to possibly see mama reptiles in action. A representative of a facility in Juno Beach said in June turtle nesting is quite active in that region.
Some Turtle Walks are a splurge. Among the least expensive programs are those offered by Gumbo Limbo in Boca Raton, with prices of $20 for non-residents and $15 for Boca residents.
Some programs feature turtle babies and offer events when rescued hatchlings are released. Prices for those events usually are about $10 – $20.
The summer programs are quite popular, require reservations and often sell out.
Sea Turtle Walks & Hatchling Releases
Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale offers Sea Turtle Walks. Events include a presentation and a walk on the beach in Fort Lauderdale in the nesting area. Depending on turtle activity, sometimes participants are on the beach when a sea turtle is laying eggs. Events are 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. in June and July, with fees of $30 for museum members and $40 for non-members. Participants need to be at least 9 years old.
Sea Turtle Oversight Protection offers occasional Turtle Treks. The organization features a team of volunteers who redirect hatchlings that are walking toward the lights on roadways instead of following the moonlight on the ocean. Turtle Treks includes a presentation and the opportunity — if a hatchling event occurs — of watching newborn baby turtles walking out of their nests toward the water. Events are recommended for ages 6 and older. Sea Turtles are protected and only volunteers are able to pick them up and relocate them if they are walking toward the street. The Treks are several hours and payment is not refundable. When events are offered, they are featured on the website.
Booked up — Sea Turtle Walks at Mizell-Johnson State Park, 954-923-2833, 6503 N. Ocean Drive, Dania Beach 33004
Sea Turtles and Their Babies presentations are 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays July 5 – August 30 in Hollywood, with a fee of $10. Registration and payment is required. The events by Broward Parks and Recreation include a presentation and a walk on the beach for hatchling release, if hatchlings are available. Phone 954-357-5161 for reservations.
Gumbo Limbo offers Turtle Walks and hatchling releases.
Turtle Walks are $15 for Boca and Park District residents and $20 for non-residents. The events are for ages 8 and older, and kids and teens 17 and younger need to be with an adult. The events include a presentation and an opportunity to possibly see a turtle laying eggs on the beach. Information about registering is online.
Turtle hatchling release events
Turtle hatchling releases at Gumbo Limbo nature center. Fees are $10 for residents of the park district and Boca Raton & 15 for non-residents. Kids younger than 17 need to be with an adult.
Loggerhead Marinelife, a non-profit organization that promotes ocean and sea turtle protection, 561-627-8280, 14200 US Highway 1, Juno Beach 33408, offers Sea Turtle Walks. The fee is $40. The events include a presentation and walk on the beach where sea turtles lay eggs. It’s possible to see them. Lots of activity in June, according to a representative of the facility.
Occasional hatchling releases offered in July and August at Miami-Dade Parks. They are 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. for ages 7 and older with a $20 fee. Register for emails about hatchling releases on the website, and browse information about events online at Facebook & Instragram.
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