Barrier Island Center: Educational Programs

The Sea Turtle Conservancy at the Barrier Island Center on the Carr Refuge, in partnership with the National Association for Interpretation and The Nature Conservancy, is offering a 32 h virtual course to train individuals interested in honing interpretive skills. Whether you are a new guide or seasoned guide this course is for you. Learn how to deliver engaging, thematic programs, hikes and other presentations to inspire stewards. There are two options for the course; take the course with NAI certification ($385), or without NAI certification ($235), cost includes one year membership in NAI. We will meet online on Zoom, on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 am to 1:30 pm, Jan. 18, 23, 25, Feb. 1, 6, 8, 13 and 15th. Register online by Jan. 3rd, 2023. Contact Sarah Rhodes-Ondi, Community Stewardship Coordinator, Sea Turtle Conservancy, with questions at or call 321-723-3556. Co-instructor is Amanda Thompson, CCI Training and Education Coordinator with The Nature Conservancy. Download flyer.

Join us on a Guided Sea Turtle Watch!

During June and July the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) has a limited number of spaces for the public to join us on a guided turtle walk. Through this program, STC hopes that the experience of a guided sea turtle walk will help inspire future naturalists and sea turtle advocates. Florida’s beaches, especially along the east central coast in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, provide nesting habitat for more nesting loggerhead turtles than any place in the Western Hemisphere and more endangered green turtles than any place in North America. In addition, endangered leatherback sea turtles nest in the Carr Refuge.

Walks are conducted by STC on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights in June and July. Space is limited to 20 people per night. Cost is $20 per person, paid in advance, to reserve a space.

Please note that Covid-19 procedures will be in place for the 2023 walks. This includes min age of 10, health questions when you arrive, and a minimum of 2 people in a group.

Turtle Walks Have Ended for the 2022 Season

How to Help Sea Turtles While Visiting the Beach

Join us on a Morning Sea Turtle Nest Dig!

The Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) has a limited number of spaces for the public to join us on an outdoor daytime nest dig educational program.  This is an opportunity to see how sea turtle scientists study the hatching success of loggerhead sea turtle nests in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Following the nest excavation, there may be an opportunity to observe a live hatchling be released into the ocean, but this cannot be guaranteed. Nest digs, also known as Public Hatch Success Evaluations, are essential to sea turtle conservation efforts because the data collected helps scientists monitor how sea turtle populations are faring with an ever-changing nesting beach environment that has been impacted by humans. Learn what you can do to help save sea turtles.

These are daytime digs conducted by STC during early mornings in August. Space is limited to 20 people. Cost is $6 per person, paid in advance, to reserve a space.

Nest digs are scheduled to start in late August, 2022 on every Thursday until we cannot locate a hatched nest. Registration will be open the Monday prior to the dig, once we are sure we have a nest to dig.

Anyone can now access a self-guided hiking guide by downloading the Flyover Country app ( and searching for the guide using the field guide tab (lower left). Users will also be notified about the guide’s existence if they load a flight path or driving/hiking path that intersects the guide area. Once the guide is loaded, it can be saved for offline use using the save button (blue, lower-center).