UCF Biology

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge

The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (ACNWR) is located along 20.5 miles of Central Atlantic Florida coast spanning between Melbourne Beach in Brevard County, and Wabasso Beach in Indian River County. The UCF Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG) has monitored beaches in Brevard County since the early 1980s for sea turtle nesting and hatching. These data were used to help establish the ACNWR in 1991 in what is now recognized as the most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting habitat in the world and the most important green sea turtle nesting habitat in the United States. Located 70 miles from UCF’s main campus in Orlando, nestled on 30 acres of the ACNWR in Melbourne Beach, the Caretta House serves as the Marine Turtle Research Group’s sea turtle field station for coastal activities that include monitoring the northernmost 13 miles of the ACNWR (Brevard County portion of the Refuge). The University of Central Florida entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the ACNWR in 2016 for the use of the Caretta House and surrounding acreage to conduct sea turtle research, monitoring, and educational activities. Please see our facilities page for more details.