How to Plan a Turtle Walk in Melbourne, Florida this Summer
Who said slowing down was a bad thing?
You’ve heard the saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” and typically it’s a saying that is tossed around those who are too busy in order to encourage them to slow down. And it’s true. There is something that happens when people stop to enjoy life, reconnect with family and friends, and take stock of what is truly meaningful in this world.
One of the ways to slow down is to take a break from the normal routine and getaway and doing that here on the Space Coast is one of the many reasons why people flock to the area. The Space Coast is a place full of beauty, awe, and wonder, from the rich space history to the acres of protected land where the natural landscape is breathtaking and the wildlife call home. One of the many creatures that call this place home is the sea turtle.
There are three species of sea turtles that make the Space Coast its home: the Loggerhead, the Leatherback, and Green sea turtles. These mesmerizing creatures are beautiful and peaceful to watch when it’s time to nest, eventually producing new hatchlings. It’s quite fascinating to see and can be seen between the months of May and October. So as you consider things to do to slow down, consider going on a turtle walk as part of your getaway.
Here’s how you can prepare for a Space Coast turtle walk:
Safety: If you happen to go out on your own walk or you come across sea turtles and the nests, it is extremely important that you observe all the signs in order to not disturb the nesting sea turtles, the hatchlings, or the nests itself. Don’t see a sign? Take precautions and don’t disturb. Space Coast provides crucial beach space in order to ensure these creatures survive. Use designated crossovers and walkways and do not walk on the dunes.
Make a reservation: Enjoy a guided walk with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. You’ll be greeted by volunteers, presenters, and guides, all trained and experienced in each respective role, so that you not only are you informed, but have a great walk. The Sea Turtle Conservancy and Canaveral National Seashore also provides turtle walks during June and July. Whichever organization you choose, you must call and make a reservation.
What to wear and bring: It is suggested you wear dark breathable clothing, bug spray, and comfortable walking shoes. Do not bring flashlights or phone camera lights as artificial light has a negative impact on the nesting sea turtles and emerging hatchlings. Cell phones and digital cameras utilizing a lighted LCD screen are also prohibited.
Should you be out and about and notice a sea turtle nest or hatchling, here’s what you can do:
- Do not remove it from the beach
- Put it in a container on a damp cloth or paper and cover with a damp cloth.
- Do not put it in the water
- Do not touch or collect the eggs as this could kill the hatchling
- Call the Sea Turtle hotline at (321) 206-0646 for further instructions
- For exposed nests, contact (321) 676-1701 and give the condition of the turtle along with the street address.
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all ages. And with more than 15,000 sea turtle nests found on the Space Coast, it is important to protect these creatures to ensure the survival for ages to come.
So don’t be like the hare, staying in constant “go” mode; be like the turtle, taking each stride one at a time, enjoying the scenery, and win the race of life and have a great vacation getaway. Need a little bit of help ensuring that you make the most of your time here while taking it slow? Check out the Space Coast Vacation Planner or the links below for places to rest your head, places to eat, and other things to do along the Space Coast.
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