National Wildlife Refuge
PURPOSE AND LOCATIONFOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ARCHIE CARR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, CONTACT THE REFUGE HEADQUARTERS AT (321) 861-0667 OR WRITE TO:
The twenty mile section of coastline from Melbourne Beach to Wabasso Beach in Florida is the most important nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles in the western hemisphere and the second most important nesting beach in the world. Twenty-five percent of all loggerhead sea turtle and 35% of all green sea turtle nests in the United States occur in this twenty mile zone. Nesting densities of 1,000 nests per mile have been recorded. Approximately half of this area is available for acquisition and four parcels totaling 9.3 miles make up the core area.
Major Refuge activities focus on protecting critical nesting sites from human activity and development. Coordination with local and state governments regarding joint management of beaches, conducting index nesting beach surveys, conducting public education programs, and providing appropriate public use facilities to accommodate day use of the beach are also priorities.
Because of the inordinate land cost, appropriations for acquisition has been the most pressing issue. The estimated cost of acquiring the 900 acres designated for the Refuge is $80 million. Fortunately, state and local agencies and private conservation groups have stepped forward to share the cost.
The best means to assure long-term protection of this nesting habitat is acquisition. A narrow window of opportunity exists before the remaining undeveloped lands within the core areas of the Refuge are no longer available for purchase. The future of protecting the best remaining sea turtle nesting habitat in the U.S. depends upon the level of funding over the next several years.
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Archie Carr biography
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