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Gumbo Limbo Nature Center In Boca Raton To Lead Turtle Walks On The Beach This Summer

Here's your chance to spot a nesting sea turtle on the beach—all you need is an expert from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center as your guide.

The center's nighttime Turtle Walk series, which leads locals down the beach in search of nesting sea turtles, kicks off next month. Guides are knowledgeable about federal and state laws regarding threatened and endangered species to help the group look for sea turtles safely and legally. (That means no flashlights or flash photography.)

The 2016 Turtle Walks, which take place on select week nights from 8:30 p.m. to midnight between May and July, consist of an educational class at Gumbo Limbo, followed by an ecology walk along the beach with the intention of seeing a nesting loggerhead. 

Loggerhead sea turtles are listed as threatened species, but people are allowed to watch them lay eggs when accompanied by a guide. Leatherback and green sea turtles are off limits because they're endangered, according to Visit Florida.

The walk experience is suitable for children ages 8 and up, but kids must attend with an adult. Turtle sightings are not guaranteed.

The programming schedule is as follows:

May 19

May 26

May 31

June 1-2

June 7-9

June 14-16 

June 21-23

June 28-30

July 5-7

July 12-14

Hatching releases, in which participants watch Gumbo Limbo staff release baby sea turtles into the ocean, will begin later in the summer. They will take place Monday through Thursday nights from July 20 through Aug. 13 and again Aug. 17 to Sept. 8.

Reservations are required for each participant and can be made online at gumbolimbotw2016.bpt.me for $17 per session. Friends of Gumbo Limbo members can purchase discounted tickets for $10 and also gain early access to reservations.

Ticket sales for the 2016 Turtle Walks go live to the general public on May 9 and are available for members a week early, on May 2. Public sales for the Hatchling Releases don't begin until June 13.

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center; 1801 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton

(Image via Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region)