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Loggerhead Turtles Released At Sebastian Inlet State Park 

August 26, 2005

Melbourne Beach, FL – The Florida Park Service and National Marine Fisheries Service today released 29 loggerhead turtles at Sebastian Inlet State Park in Melbourne Beach. The turtles, graduates of the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) program, are four years old and weigh as much as 100 pounds each.

“The Florida Park Service is thrilled to release these loggerhead turtles back into

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Released
Loggerhead sea turtle being released at Indian River Lagoon

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 sea turtles.

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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