Spanning 20.5 linear miles along Florida’s central Atlantic coast, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) represents the nation’s most significant land conservation and acquisition initiative to protect sea turtle nesting beaches. The Refuge is unique for its placement within a patchwork of protected lands and among properties that had already been developed. 

The Refuge is home to the most productive nesting site in this hemisphere for Loggerhead sea turtles. It is the most significant nesting site for Green sea turtles in the continental United Sates. In addition, it is an increasingly important area for nesting Leatherback sea turtles.  Loggerhead sea turtles are listed as Threatened;  Greens and Leatherbacks are classified as Endangered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Refuge was named for the late Dr. Archie F. Carr, Jr. to honor his lifetime commitment to conservation and research. With his writings and research, he drew national and international attention to the plight of the sea turtle and risk of extinction if actions were not taken to protect nesting beaches and other dangers at sea.

The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge maintains an important partnership with the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group.  UCF monitoring data regarding the turtle nesting in the eighties provided vital information that led to the establishment of this Refuge.  Under the outstanding leadership of Llewellyn Ehrhart, Ph.D., significant sea turtle research has been performed by this group for more than 30 years.  The leadership has now transitioned to Kate Mansfield, Ph.D., and exciting new areas of research are being addressed such as the tracking of juvenile sea turtles.

Turtle Walk Season Approaching

During peak loggerhead nesting season in June and July, Friends of the Carr Refuge members lead nighttime turtle walks on Wednesday nights at the Brevard County Barrier Island Center.  Reservations for these walks will be handled by the Sea Turtle Conservancy via their website starting on May 1, 2015.  Turtle walks have limited capacity and fill up quickly, so registering early is recommended.  A $15 donation is required to reserve a place.

FOCR also leads turtle walks on six Saturday nights during June and July for groups.  While the details have not been released, at least one Saturday night will be reserved for members of the Friends of the Carr Refuge.

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The Friends of the Carr Refuge is a non-profit organization dedicated to provide resources to meet the needs of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge where funding and assistance are not otherwise available.

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