Seeing Sea Turtles

Check out these easy-to-reach spots to watch sea turtles lay eggs on beaches in the southeastern United States

07-28-2014 // Laura Tangley

Green Turtle digging a nest on Melbourne Beach, Florida. Photo by Ryan Chabot

AS SEA TURTLE POPULATIONS recover in the southeastern United States, it’s becoming easier to find places to watch adult turtles come ashore to lay their eggs and baby turtles crawl into the sea after those eggs hatch. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Florida:
Guides from 18 different parks, refuges, nature centers and other organizations take visitors out at night to see green, loggerhead and, occasionally, leatherback turtles lay eggs on a number of Florida beaches (including Melbourne Beach, where a green turtle digs her nest, above). The state maintains a list of turtle-watching sites with contact information for each location.

Texas:
Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, Texas, invites the public to watch between 15 and 25 releases of Kemp’s ridley hatchlings every summer. To learn more, visit the national seashore's website or call the Hatchling Hotline at 361-949-7163.

Georgia:
Jekyll Island’s Georgia Sea Turtle Center sponsors nighttime loggerhead turtle walks as well as opportunities to patrol beaches at dawn with seasoned sea turtle biologists checking and excavating nests. Learn more by visiting the sea turtle center's website or by calling 912-635-4444


Read "Sea Change For Sea Turtles" to find out how southeastern sea turtles have made such a remarkable recovery and to learn about threats still facing these ancient reptiles.


 

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