Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Along A1A between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach
Conservation Area Size:
Over 900 Acres (Indian River County Owns or Shares Ownership on 97 Acres within the ACNWR & the PINWR)
Hours of Operation:
7:30 am - sunset, year-round
Open to Public:
YES. Access from Indian River County Parks located at Treasure Shores Beach Park; Golden Sands Beach Park; & Ambersands Beach Park
- Golden Sands Park - 6 Grills 6 Pavilions 8 Picnic Tables Playground 131 Parking spaces 8 Handicap spaces Water Fountains Restrooms Showers Guarded Area ADA Crossover
- Treasure Shores Park - 9 Picnic Tables Playground 74 Parking Spaces 4 Handicap Spaces Water Fountains Restrooms Outdoor Showers ADA Crossover
- Ambersand Beach Park - Un-paved Parking Area Dune Cross-over
No Pets, No Alcohol, No Open Fires, No Camping, No Overnight Parking, No Trespassing When Parks are Closed, No Equestrian Activities, No Fireworks, No Glass Containers
The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge was established by Congress in 1991 to provide a refuge for marine turtles. Stretching over 20 miles between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach, the refuge was named after the late Dr. Archie Carr, Jr. Dr. Carr was a Florida Zoologist who spent most of his life dedicated to research and conservation of sea turtles. His widely acclaimed book "The Windward Road," was the driving force behind the establishment of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, a group dedicated solely to the preservation of sea turtles.
The refuge represents one of the most significant locations for loggerhead sea turtle nesting in the Western Hemisphere, and the most significant area for green turtle nesting in North America. The Refuge accounts for 25-35% of all loggerhead and green sea turtle nests in the US. Although not a major nesting site, the Refuge also serves as a nesting area for the giant leatherback turtle, which is one of the world's rarest sea turtles. It has been reported by Refuge staff that between 15,000 to 20,000 sea turtles nest annually at the Refuge.
Indian River County has sole or partial ownership of approximately 97 acres of land within the NWR. These lands are managed in a cooperative effort with Brevard County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The primary management goal is to provide long-term protection of habitat for sea turtles and other listed species, as well as providing compatible public use. Collaboratively, this partnership, known as the Archie Carr Working Group has protected over 900 acres, and continues to educate thousands of residents and visitors about the unique characteristics of the barrier island ecosystem.
The best time to view sea turtles is in June and July when guided, night-time sea turtle watch programs are offered. Reservations for the programs are required. Click here for sea turtle watch program information: