About the Refuge
The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge stretches across 20.5 miles between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach along Florida's east coast in Brevard and Indian River Counties. The refuge was established in 1991 and was named after the late Dr. Archie Carr, Jr., in honor of his extraordinary contribution to sea turtle conservation. The Refuge is a direct result of Dr. Carr bringing attention to the world's declining turtle populations due to over-exploitation and loss of safe habitat.
Intensive monitoring, surveys, and data collection by the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Dr. Llewellyn Ehrhart (“Doc”) in central and south Brevard County began in 1982 and continues today by the Marine Turtle Research Group, a graduate program under the University of Central Florida. The data collected from 1982 to 1990 influenced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge to preserve a nesting beach for threatened and endangered sea-turtles.
Ultimately the creation of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (ACNWR) by the U.S. Congress was in recognition of the need for long stretches of quiet, undisturbed sandy beaches, with little or no artificial lighting, to ensure the reproductive success and survival of sea turtles.
The refuge is a unique partnership of land owners and managers including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Florida, Brevard County, Indian River County, Sea Turtle Conservancy, and Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute.