Northbound on I-95: Exit Fellsmere / Sebastian SR 512 east to SR510, then to A1A. Head north on A1A approximately two miles. An entrance sign located at Golden Sands County Park designates the southern boundary. Access to the refuge is managed through County-managed parks and Sebastian Inlet State Park. Southbound on I-95: Exit Melbourne taking US 192 east to A1A. Head south on A1A approximately 5 miles to get to the northern boundary of the Refuge. An entrance sign located at Coconut Point Park designates the northern boundary of the Refuge.
The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge stretches across 20.5 miles between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach along Florida’s east coast. The refuge was established in 1991 and was named after the late Dr. Archie Carr, Jr., in honor of his extraordinary contribution to sea turtle conservation. The Refuge is a direct result of Dr. Carr bringing attention to the world’s declining turtle populations due to over-exploitation and loss of safe habitat. The refuge was designated to protect habitat for what is the most significant area for loggerhead sea turtle nesting in the Western Hemisphere, and the most significant area for green turtle nesting in North America. This represents 25-35% of all loggerhead and green sea turtle nests in the US. It also serves as a minor nesting area for the leatherback turtle, which is one of the world’s largest and rarest sea turtles. The long stretches of quiet, undisturbed sandy beaches, with little or no artificial light, are essential to the reproductive success and survival of the 15,000 to 20,000 sea turtles nesting annually. The 248-acre refuge is also unique for its placement within a patchwork of protected lands and among properties that have already been developed. To help preserve this globally important nesting ground the Service has established a partnership with State and County governments and private conservation groups to acquire and manage this dune habitat. The primary management thrust is to provide long term protection of this 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.