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HomeNewsArchivesLeatherback Sea Turtle Watch Education Program Resumes for Nesting Season

Leatherback Sea Turtle Watch Education Program Resumes for Nesting Season

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has announced the Turtle Watch Education Program will resume for the 2013 leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting season at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge.
A comprehensive study of the biology of the leatherback sea turtles nesting there has been ongoing since 1981. Since its inception, community education has been an important component of the project.
As an important nesting site for these critically endangered sea turtles, Sandy Point provides unique educational opportunities for the surrounding community. Each nesting season, hundreds of local students and adults visit the refuge to witness both leatherback nesting and hatchling emergence. The program, started in 1997 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, plays an important role in the conservation of the leatherback sea turtle. The Turtle Watch Education Program fosters a conservation ethic that extends beyond the boundaries of the refuge. An educated and concerned public is the greatest ally when it comes to the preservation of natural resources.
Since 1997, thousands of schoolchildren and adults from our island community have visited Sandy Point to see the turtles nesting. Beginning in April, the refuge will accept reservations from school, youth and community groups for Turtle Watch trips from April through August. Weekend nights are limited to school and youth groups, and reservations are only accepted for groups of 15 to 30 people at a time. Reservations for groups of less than 15 people are not allowed. For more information or reservations, contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 690-9452.
The Fish & Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the federal aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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