Sea Turtle Patrol

CWC Expectations for Turtle Patrol Volunteers page updated 5/28/21

CWC is adding no additional names to our potential volunteer list for 2021

1. Availability and commitment for the entire season: APRIL 15 – October 31 with the exception of short break

2. Availability and commitment for a minimum of 2 days/week
Note: Patrolling more frequently during the first season is advised for new volunteers.

3. Ability to walk on sand and withstand summer heat/humidity

4. Beach patrol is physical activity. Volunteers must be able to walk a mile on the beach, carry equipment, and dig in the sand. Like the postman who delivers in all weather, turtle patrollers are on the beach in heat and in rain. We do not patrol during thunderstorms.

5. Willingness to work within prescribed CWC and FWC protocols and guidelines

7. Willingness to be on the beach early – at about sunrise for most of the season. Some activities are required to be completed by 9 a.m.

8. Willingness to collect beach trash while patrolling

9. Ability to provide one’s own transportation to and from an assigned zone

Additional information:

A. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Marine Turtle Research section holds Sea Turtle Nest Survey Training Workshops annually. Volunteers may attend any of the scheduled workshops. After a patroller’s first season, workshop attendance is required at least every 2 years. Many CWC volunteers attend annually. Because of COVID-19, the workshops in 2021 are being offered virtually as they were in 2020. Registration is required.

Prospective volunteers, please contact info@coastalwildlifeclub.org for details.

B. CWC holds meetings for new and returning patrollers at Lemon Bay Park, usually in March or April of each year. During the turtle season we host informal gatherings to discuss changes, protocol issues, and questions that arise. The gatherings mix work and fun enabling CWC patrollers to learn and to socialize. Because of COVID-19, we cancelled all such meetings in 2020. While we have not yet finalized plans for in-person or virtual meetings in 2021, all of us miss the exchange of information and the camaraderie. Hopefully, we will return to in-person turtle patrol meetings soon!

Training for Turtle Patrollers

New volunteers walk the beach with experienced patrollers. They watch and listen one-on-one or in small groups. Gradually they are assigned tasks by the Principal Permit Holder in whose survey area they are working. However, some tasks may be done only by individuals listed on FWC Marine Turtle Permits specific to our monitoring areas and the number of listed individuals is limited. On-the-beach training continues throughout the season and to some extent indefinitely. Even seasoned patrollers learn something new each year.

Interested in becoming a member?  Click HERE for a membership form.

Do you want to be on Sea Turtle Patrol?  If you have read all of the requirements listed above and have sent in your CWC Membership, click here and send us an email.