the wild, and there is no more of a fitting location than the
pristine shores of a state park,” said Florida Park Service Director Mike
Bullock. “The Indian River Lagoon provides ideal habitat for these turtles,
and offers an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean for their migration.”
The turtles released today were a part of the TED program, which tests
excluder devices in commercial fishing equipment to ensure sea turtles are
able to escape if caught. The 29 turtles were returned to the wild into the
Indian River Lagoon on the landward side of Sebastian Inlet State Park,
which provides access to the great deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. The
Indian River Lagoon’s shallow sea grass beds are home to many loggerhead
Worldwide there are seven species of sea turtles. Florida is fortunate to
have five of the seven species in its waters at any given time of the year.
Of those five, summertime brings three to nest on the state’s beaches,
including leatherback, green and loggerhead turtles, all endangered or
threatened species. This year, on the shores of Sebastian Inlet State Park,
there are more than 850 loggerhead nests, more than 200 green turtle nests
and eight leatherback nests.
The premier saltwater fishing spot on Florida's east coast, Sebastian Inlet
State Park is a favorite for anglers nationwide. A popular surfing area,
the park hosts several major competitions each year. Two museums provide a
history of the area, and three miles of pristine beaches provide
opportunities for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, shelling and
sunbathing. The Indian River Lagoon is ideal for canoeing and kayaking, or
visitors can take a ranger-led cruise by Pelican Island, the first national
wildlife refuge in the United States.
A finalist for the Gold Medal award honoring the Nation’s Best State Park
Service, Florida’s state park system is one of the largest in the country
with 159 parks spanning more than 720,000 acres and more than 100 miles of
sandy white beach. From swimming and diving in rivers and springs to
birding and fishing or hiking and riding on natural scenic trails,
Florida’s state parks offer year-round outdoor activities for all ages.
Battle reenactments and Native American festivals celebrate Florida’s
unique history, while art shows, museums and lighthouses offer a window
into Florida’s cultural heritage.
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