For Educators


Since 1997, schoolchildren and adults from the community have participated in an escorted night visit to the beach to see female leatherback sea turtles digging their nests and laying eggs. Later in the season, program participants watch hatchlings emerge from their nests and crawl to the sea.

The leatherback sea turtle recovery project began monitoring and management activities at Sandy Point in 1977. The Project has since developed into one of the most comprehensive, long-term sea turtle research and recovery efforts in the world. This work contributed to the creation of Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge as the first refuge in the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge System established for the purpose of protecting endangered sea turtles. During the last three decades, there has been a substantial increase in the number of nesting leatherbacks, from less than 20 individuals in the early years to more than 100 in recent years.

TW Facts Card 512W

The Turtle Watch Education Program is offered to youth groups and community groups. The program runs from Tuesdays through Saturdays starting in April and running through the end of July. Reservations are only accepted for groups with at least 15 and no more than 30 people. No individual reservations are allowed. Weekend nights are limited to youth groups. Great care is taken by the program coordinator and the research team to minimize any disturbance to the turtles.

For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (340) 690-9452 or or visit the website at