CWC Expectations for Turtle Patrol Volunteers page updated 5/28/2023
1. Availability and commitment for the entire season: APRIL 15 – October 31 with exception of short breaks
2. Availability and commitment for a minimum of 2 days/week Note: Patrolling more frequently during the first season is advised for new volunteers.
3. Ability to walk on sand and withstand summer heat/humidity.
4. Beach patrol is physical activity. Volunteers must be able to walk a mile on the beach, carry equipment, and dig in the sand. Like the postman who delivers in all weather, turtle patrollers are on the beach in heat and in rain. We do not patrol during thunderstorms.
5. Willingness to work within prescribed CWC and FWC protocols and guidelines.
7. Willingness to be on the beach early – at about sunrise for most of the season. Some activities are required to be completed by 9 a.m.
8. Willingness to collect beach trash while patrolling.
9. Ability to provide one’s own transportation to and from an assigned beach.
A. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Marine Turtle Research section holds Sea Turtle Nest Survey Training Workshops annually. Volunteers may attend any of the scheduled workshops. After a patroller’s first season, workshop attendance is required at least every 2 years. Many CWC volunteers attend annually. Registration is required. CWC patrol members will receive notification via email of current meeting schedule.
B. CWC historically has held meetings for new and returning patrollers usually in March or April of each year. During the turtle season we may host informal gatherings to discuss changes, protocol issues, and questions that arise. The gatherings mix work and fun enabling CWC patrollers to learn and to socialize.
Training for Turtle Patrollers is “on the job”.
New volunteers walk the beach with experienced patrollers. They watch and listen one-on-one or in small groups. Gradually they are assigned tasks by the Principal Permit Holder in whose survey area they are working. However, some tasks may be done only by individuals listed on FWC Marine Turtle Permits specific to our monitoring areas and the number of listed individuals is limited. On-the-beach training continues throughout the season and to some extent indefinitely. Even seasoned patrollers learn something new each year.
Please contact Coastal Wildlife Club, Inc. for more information. CWC membership does not automatically enroll you in our turtle patrol.