August 2019
August Newsletter
Welcome to the first edition of our revitalized newsletter. With turtle season in full-swing, we are excited to start sharing news and information with you! These newsletters will consist of updates about what's going on at the Friends of the Carr Refuge and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Make sure to keep a look out each month to stay up to date on refuge happenings.

If you are not already a member, we invite you to join us today! Helping the Carr turtles is not the only benefit of membership. We plan "members only" events throughout the year and offer early registration to members for our Turtle Walks and Digs! Use the button below to learn about our various membership levels or make a one-time donation. Don't forget to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram!
Meet Victoria Escandell, our SCA intern!
Victoria is our new SCA Wildlife Biology/Outreach Intern! She will be working closely with us as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. SCA stands for Student Conservation Association, which puts college students and recent college graduates to work on parks and public lands in the name of conservation. Victoria's internship was paid for thanks to the contributions of our amazing donors!

Victoria developed a passion for the ocean growing up right here in Satellite Beach, Florida. Throughout college she explored her interest in sea turtles and coral reefs during internships, jobs, and her undergraduate research. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Marine Biology. Victoria is a certified Scientific Diver, loves dogs (especially her dog Nyla), and enjoys spending her free time exploring nature with friends and family.

We are so happy to have Victoria on the FOCR Team to help develop our education and outreach programs. She can be reached at
Photo: Atlee Hargis, SCA intern for Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
We love our volunteers and we thank this team for another great Turtle Walk Season!
From left to right: Vince Lamb, Rick Gaskins, Victoria Escandell, Jill Uttridge, John Baucher, Denise Kristiansen, Atlee Hargis, Gail Meredith, and Sandra Fox.
Photo: Vince Lamb
Turtle Walks and Digs
Our 2019 Turtle Walks were a great success, with only one night that guests were unable to see a turtle. It is estimated that we had about 500 participants attending our Turtle Walks this year. We love having the opportunity to educate residents and visitors about the importance conserving sea turtle populations and tracking nesting progress.

Our last Turtle Walk was July 31st, but as they come to a close we are getting ready to begin our Turtle Digs in August and September! As always the registration for these events filled up quick, so we hope you were able to book a spot. If not, please keep us in mind for next year's nesting season and become a member to get early access to registration!
Nesting Counts
Loggerheads are nearing the end of their nesting season and are declining in numbers slowly each week. However, Greens have a long way to go and are expected to surpass their 2017 record of 17,000 nests!

The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is a great example of the importance of wildlife refuges. Nesting numbers have steadily increased since the refuge was established in 1991, and as community awareness of these amazing creatures has grown. Thank you to everyone who respects the refuge's rules and leaves their lights off, avoids making noise, removes trash, and keeps their dogs off the beach. Together, we are making a huge difference.
Each week, Friends of the Carr Refuge Board Member Vince Lamb compiles the nest counts from the various groups who monitor our 20.5 miles of beach. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date!

Everyone who attended the meeting posed for a picture overlooking the ocean. Included in the picture are the guests from Oman.
Photo: Vince Lamb
Archie Carr Working Group Meeting
Four times a year, all the various organizations, institutions, state, and federal stakeholders for Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge meet to discuss the refuge and give their updates. The July 10 meeting was held at the Sebastian Inlet State Park and included some very special guests from the Masirah Island at the Sultanate of Oman. Until their numbers started to decline recently, Oman was home to the world's most important nesting beach for loggerheads. They were here to learn what we do at the refuge for our sea turtles in hopes to take some best practices home.

Gustavo Stahelin, a PhD student with UCF Marine Turtle Research Group, presented his research on the "Impact of Hurricanes on Sea Turtle Nests". He conducted this research on the Archie Carr refuge after the hurricanes in 2017, finding that a significant percentage of nests washed out due to maximum wave height and sea level. This model can be used in future hurricane seasons to estimate the impact to sea turtle nests.

We concluded the meeting with an update on everyone's impressive nesting counts for the season along the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge beach!
Guests listening to our presentation given by Jean Cranton before our Turtle Walk on July 31st at the Barrier Island Center. Visitors come from near and far during the season to appreciate the Carr turtles!
Photo: Victoria Escandell
Banking on Nature
Last month the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released updated figures for the Banking on Na ture report outlining the economic impact of recreational visitation to national wildlife refuges. In 2017, 292,000 visitors to the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge generated more than $14 million to the local economy and supported 131 jobs. Below are links to the full report and to the section specific to our refuge.