The NEST (Nest Excavation for Sea Turtles) program is a new, limited-edition outreach program that will only be available during the summer. During this special outreach, participants will learn about sea turtle nesting in South Florida, the threats they face, and what we can do to protect and conserve them. The program consists of a hands-on activity, nature walk on Virginia Key Beach and a look inside a sea turtle nest after it hatches.

What is a nest excavation?

Nest excavations take place three days after a sea turtle nest hatches and can only be completed by a person authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The Frost Science Education Team will talk guests through the process and purpose of a nest excavation while the MORAES sea turtle conservation team (permit #153) excavates the nest.

What will I see?

During an excavation, participants may see hatched sea turtle eggs, whole sea turtle eggs and maybe even live hatchlings.

When will NEST programs take place?

The NEST programs will take place three days after a nest hatches. This is because authorized personnel must excavate a nest to collect data for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission 72 hours after it hatches.
The NEST programs will be from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Where will NEST programs take place?

NEST programs will take place on Virginia Key.
3801 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149

How do I sign up?

  • Interested participants should fill out the request form above.
  • Participants will be notified three days prior to the program if they were chosen to attend. We cannot let you know prior due to the very specific nature of this program.
  • Once you are notified that you have been chosen for a program, you will be asked to make a $25 per person donation to MORAES.
  • After the donation is made, you will receive confirmation of the program along with logistical information.
  • If there are not enough registrations to join a NEST program, it will be rescheduled to your next available day.