Snappin' Critters

Marinelife Center of Juno Beach

The Atlantic shore of Florida between Brevard and Broward County contains some of the most important nesting beaches for the loggerhead turtle in the entire world. Loggerheads, which are classified as a threatened species, come ashore to nest after dark primarily in the months of June and July.

You'll need to make reservations at Marinelife Center to go on a turtle walk; these are extremely popular. Photographing the loggerhead is challenging, to say the least, since flash is not permitted during the nesting process. The guides illuminate the event by flashlight, so a tripod and fast film are mandatory to capture the actual egg-laying, which normally takes between one and two hours.

If you are unable to reserve a spot for the nighttime turtle walks, you can at least see the tread-like tracks still gouged in the sand early in the morning. Exhibit tanks feature live loggerheads along with green and leatherback turtles.

Call (561) 627-8280 to make reservations for the turtle walks and to learn the center's current operating hours. The Marinelife Center is located on US 1; take exit 57 on I-95 in Palm Beach Gardens and go east on SR 786. After reaching US 1, travel north for about three miles; look for the center on the right.

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