Sea turtle center now welcoming visitors

For the first time in nearly three months, a group of visitors entered the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center Tuesday to learn about marine ecosystems and meet Sweet Pea, the resident juvenile sea turtle!

It was a blast getting back inside the conservation center to see the marine creatures that call it home. The center closed to visitors back in March due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Center Executive Director Jenn Polus said they are ready to bring in visitors once more, with a few precautions.

“We are very excited. We have missed seeing everyone,” she said.

For now, the re-opening will be limited to pre-registered visitation in small groups. Registration is available at

To ensure the safety of visitors and volunteers, the center is taking extra precautions. Masks will be required for anyone inside the center, and hands will be sanitized at the door for staff, volunteers and visitors. Groups are spaced to allow increased sanitation inside the facility as well.  

The center is built to hold 50 visitors at a time. When the center re-opens for general admittance, it will likely only allow 50% capacity.

With the new precautions also come new benefits for visitors due to a more personal experience.

Pre-registered visits will be styled after the center’s private tours while maintaining the affordable price. Guests start by learning about Sweet Pea and seeing the various exhibits. Visitors will also have time to explore on their own, and kids can do the center’s scavenger hunt. Once the group is done inside the center, the tour moves to the newly remodeled outdoor exhibit where visitors can meet tortoises Safari and Flip Flop.

Center programs, such as Shark School, restarted along with some new programs. The center has launched an Honorary Care Team Member program, which takes visitors behind the scenes of caring for the animals, including Sweet Pea. Participants will also get hands on with tortoises and receive a certificate for their participation.

Come check it out this summer by booking at

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