World Sea Turtle Day kicks off with a free guided beach walk and clean-up. Photo provided
World Sea Turtle Day kicks off with a free guided beach walk and clean-up. Photo provided

Take a free guided beach walk, watch a free film, and take advantage of free upcycled sea turtle crafts, Refuge Nature Store specials, and hand-outs on World Sea Turtle Day, Monday, June 17, at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Free sea turtle lessons and a showing of the 90-minute film Turtle: The Incredible Journey take place throughout the day at the refuge Visitor & Education Center. The morning’s ranger-led beach walk and clean-up departs from the refuge’s Perry Tract, accessible from Gulfside City Park. The first 20 to show up for the beach walk receive a free gift and a 10 percent discount coupon for sea turtle items in the Refuge Nature Store.

My interns and I decided to celebrate the day by drawing attention to and educating people about the plight of threatened sea turtles in our oceans,” said refuge conservation educator Sara Hallas, whose team is organizing the event.

Below is the full schedule for turtle-friendly and free fun throughout the day:

9-10 a.m. – Free Beach Walk & Cleanup at Perry Tract (parking fees apply at Gulfside City Park)

11-11:30 a.m. – Free Sea Turtle Lesson in the Visitor & Education Center Classroom

12 noon.-1:30 p.m. - Free showing of the film Turtle: The Incredible Journey

12 noon–2 p.m. – Ongoing free Make-and-Take Sea Turtle Crafts in the Visitor & Education Center Classroom

2:30 p.m. – Free Sea Turtle Lesson in the Visitor & Education Center Classroom

For more information about World Sea Turtle Day at the refuge, call 239-472-1100 ext. 236 or visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/events.