Friends of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge raise $25,000 for sea turtle research.
When UCF’s sea turtle research was at risk of losing funding, Friends of the Carr Refuge mobilized the community to support a vital 35 year effort.
After learning that government funds to support crucial sea turtle research on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge had dried up, Friends of the Carr Refuge (FOCR) quickly jumped into action. FOCR’s mission is to promote the conservation of sea turtles and the natural resources of the Carr Refuge by engaging in educational outreach, scientific partnerships and civic activities. In order to propel this mission, FOCR launched a fundraising campaign to support the continuation of turtle nest monitoring and associated research that University of Central Florida has performed for the past 35 years on the refuge’s shoreline.
Thanks to the support and generosity of donors, FOCR raised $25,000 to support UCF’s turtle research program at the refuge. Through the combination of a donor event, appeal letter, email campaigns, social media and a “yard hatchling” campaign, FOCR was able to mobilize community support for sea turtle research.
Welcome to Bill Miller, Complex Manager for Archie Carr, Pelican Island, Everglades Headwaters and Lake Wales Ridge Refuges
Bill Miller started work in early June at the office complex on Wildlife Way. Jill Uttridge and Vince Lamb, Board Members and Officers of the Friends of the Carr Refuge, met with Bill and USFWS staff member Anibal Vazquez on June 18, 2015. His most recent job responsibility was Refuge Manager of the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. Bill has fourteen years of relevant experience that should be most helpful with his new responsibilities.
We had an enjoyable discussion about the unique features of the Carr Refuge including a relationship with the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group that dates back to the formation of this refuge. Bill expressed enthusiasm for the new research facility that is being planned by UCF. He also is looking forward to meeting the leaders of the various organizations represented in the Archie Carr Working Group.
Jill Uttridge, Bill Miller and Vince Lamb. Photo by Anibal Vazquez.
Archie Carr NWR featured in USFWS Refuge Update
The January 2015 issue includes an article written by Bill O'Brian about the Carr Refuge. The cover photo shows a loggerhead hatchling entering the Atlantic in the early morning lighting. The article provides interesting information about the Refuge, the turtles and the organizations involved with the Refuge. Did you know that the Refuge received 120,000 visitors annually? An electronic copy can be viewed at https://www.fws.gov/refuges/RefugeUpdate/pdfs/refUp_JanFeb_2015.pdf
Nesting Turtle Walks in June and July
The Friends of the Carr Refuge volunteers conduct turtle walks to observe nesting Loggerhead sea turtles on Wednesday evenings during June and July, the peak months for Loggerhead nesting. These walks are conducted under permits issued by Florida Fish and Wildlife. Our guests usually observe Loggerhead turtles dropping their eggs into carefully prepared nests on the beach.
Our guests start their evening in the auditorium at the Brevard County Barrier Island Center watching a presentation loaded with information about sea turtles that nest in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, our trained volunteers start scouting the nearby beaches for Loggerhead turtles that are starting to nest. When a turtle is found that is starting to drop her eggs, the guests are led to the beach to observe the nesting and return to the sea. A walk of less than a half mile may be needed to reach the turtle.
Watching a Loggerhead sea turtle deposit her eggs, then camouflage her nest to prevent predation and return to the Atlantic can be a memorable experience. These walks are conducted according to the permit in a manner that reduces the impact of people on the nesting turtles. Flashlights and cameras are not permitted.
The photo below shows some of our volunteers who conduct the nesting turtle walks. Registration information will be provided in early May 2015.