Dear Friends,

Well, here we are the “Dog Days” of summer, but for Canaveral it is the “Turtle Days” of summer. We are having our highest nesting numbers ever! And you are right if you said, “Oh, I’ve heard that before.” Just a short time ago in 2017, these very words were spoken. If the nesting stays at this pace we’ll beat the record number of nests which was 12,315. Our very dedicated (tired & hot) turtle team are being kept extremely busy with up to 210 nests a night! So let’s hear it for Mike, Sean, Russ and Ken.


Friends, thanks for all that you do, we couldn’t do what we do without you.  

See you at the beach!
Laura Henning 
(As of June 28, 2019)
Yesterday the park had its biggest nesting day on record....270 nests!  Playalinda had 210 nests (record) and Apollo had 60.  The park is currently 2,300 nests ahead of where it was in 2017 (which was a record year) at this time .  

Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ):
Apollo ( 2166 ) ...... Playalinda ( 3064 )

Green Turtle ( Chelonia mydas ):
Apollo ( 1492 ) .......... Playalinda ( 3225 )

Leatherback ( Dermochelys coriacea ):
Apollo ( 11 ) .......... Playalinda ( 21 )

Kemps Ridley ( Lepidochelys kempii ):
Apollo ( 0 ) .......... Playalinda ( 0 )

Total: 9,979

Wednesday, July 31st was an active day at Canaveral National Seashore when 75 students from Babe James Community Center Summer Camp enjoyed a day a the beach! Activities included fishing, a variety of crafts, games on the beach, watching a sea turtle nest excavation and of course a hot dog cook out hosted by Friends of Canaveral. Everyone had a grand time.

Thanks to all for joining us at Canaveral and we’ll see you next year!

Canaveral Staff & Volunteers
From learning about endangered sea turtles of Canaveral National Seashore, to exploring plankton from Mosquito Lagoon, see what amazing programs are available at your National Park!


Members of NSB Turtle Trackers joined up with the New Smyrna Beach City Commission to unveil a new educational sign recently installed on 27th Avenue Beachfront Park (3701 S Atlantic Avenue).

The sign includes photos of different types of sea turtles and helpful tips on how to minimize the impact of human activity on their habitat during nesting season, which runs from May 1 to October 31.

“The 2019 nesting season has been a very busy one so far. The volunteers are on the beach before daylight every morning looking for new tracks, erecting protective barriers, and monitoring the existing ones. It’s hard and hot work but so very rewarding! We are, after all, protecting threatened and endangered species,” said NSB Turtle Trackers President Cathy Thompson.
Immediate Action Needed to Save
North Atlantic Right Whales

North Atlantic right whales primarily occur in Atlantic coastal waters or close to the continental shelf, although movements over deep waters are known. Most known right whale nursery areas are in shallow, coastal waters.

Each Fall, some right whales travel more than 1,000 miles from their feeding grounds off the Canadian Maritimes and New England to the warm coastal waters of South Carolina, Georgia, and northeastern Florida. These southern waters are the only known calving area for the species—an area where they regularly give birth and nurse their young. NOAA Fisheries has designated two critical habitat areas determined to provide important feeding, nursery, and calving habitat for the North Atlantic population of right whales:
  • Off the coast of New England (foraging area).
  • Off the southeast U.S. coast from Cape Fear, North Carolina, to below Cape Canaveral, Florida (calving area).
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species, with only about 400 whales remaining. The situation has become even more alarming with the recent discovery of six North Atlantic right whale deaths and one entanglement in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. Four deaths were mature females. With fewer than 95 breeding females left, protecting every individual is a top priority. Right whales cannot withstand continued losses of mature females—we have reached a critical point. (read more)
Fleeting Beauty:
9 Natural Phenomena You Won’t Want to Miss
National parks offer critical nesting sites for several threatened and endangered sea turtle species, including the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the most endangered sea turtle in the world. Park staff take an active role in monitoring and protecting sea turtles and their hatchlings, which are vulnerable to raccoons, birds and other predators — and even cars.   (read article)
Canaveral National Seashore
One of America's Best National Park Beaches
Canaveral National Seashore, Photo © Jesse Kunerth/Dreamstime.
Canaveral National Seashore, one of the
last wild beaches in the United States.

For a classic beach vacation with sea and surf — and maybe even a manatee sighting — it’s hard to beat this barrier island half an hour south of Daytona. These wild, undeveloped beaches with large natural sand dunes sit just a few miles north of the high-tech rocket launch pads at nearby Kennedy Space Center and Canaveral Air Force Base on Florida’s “Space Coast.” Canoe or fish in the lagoon, swim the blue waters and hike the area trails. Just get there early during peak season, as the beach — and the parking lot — fill up quickly. (read article )
October 20-26
The ghost crab is aptly named. It is a pale, sandy color, making it almost invisible on the sand. Its black eyes are held aloft on stalks.

These crabs tunnel up to four feet into the sand at a 45° angle, creating 1 to 2 inch-wide holes, which speckle the beach.
Ghost crabs and surf crabs will prey on baby sea turtles. Quick reacting ghost crabs will run out of their sand burrows, grab the little turtles and drag them deep into their burrows to feast on them. These hunting crabs remain in their burrows during the hottest part of the day and leave their burrows as the day cools into night, which happens to be the time when most sea turtles hatch.

They can move at speeds up to 10 miles per hour while making sharp directional changes and can use its sharp 360-degree vision to see flying insects and catch them in mid air.

  • If you watch the video at the left you will see that the the ghost crab has the ability to “deposit feed”—it passes sand through its mouthparts and extracts the nutrients from the algae in the sand.
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