Field School: Sea Turtle and Marine Animal Strandings

Sponsored by Wellfleet Bay


2 classes (show schedule)
Wed, Dec 04, 2019
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thu, Dec 05, 2019
8:00 am - 4:00 pm


Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, South Wellfleet MA






Nonmembers can join today during checkout and take immediate advantage of member prices.

Sea Turtle and Marine Animal Strandings
A Cape Cod Field School for Adults
2-day course
Every year in November and December sea turtles that have lingered in Cape Cod Bay succumb to the dropping water temperatures, become cold-stunned, and wash ashore on bayside beaches. For close to 30 years, the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary has been involved with the rescue of these endangered turtles and with the help of a cadre of local volunteers our response and success rates of saving these rare marine turtles have soared.
This is also the time of year when other marine animals can be found stranded on local beaches. Torpedo rays, ocean sunfish, and coastal and pelagic birds are among the wildlife we may encounter. Please note that it is most likely that these particular species will not be alive if found. However, we can gain a lot of insight into their natural history and biology by collecting baseline data on these individuals, and possibly performing necropsies (animal autopsies) on them.
While we can never predict in advance when or if sea turtles and other marine animals will strand, our weekend together is scheduled during peak time according to past records and tidal cycle. Ultimately wind and weather conditions will determine whether the animals are washed ashore, but this weekend is designed for participants to get a "hands-on" perspective of rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
This is a busy weekend with early morning and evening activities, as well as daytime field trips and indoor workshops. Activities primarily include patrolling the beaches in search of stranded turtles and collecting baseline data on stranded animals. Participants will walk-away from this exciting and unique weekend with an in-depth introduction to the natural history of sea turtles and other local marine animals. Registration is limited to 5 people to ensure maxium participation.
Course includes dinner on the first evening. Sanctuary housing is available at $40 per night; contat the sanctuary if you want to reserve a space.

*Please note: the hours listed may change based on tides, staff, strandings, and other variables. A detailed schedule will be prepared and sent out to registrants approximately 3-4 weeks in advance.
Instructors: You will be teamed with a number of knowledgeable Wellfleet Bay staff and local experts.

Instructions and Directions:

Advance registration is required and is accepted on-line, over the phone, or through the mail. Payment in full is due upon registration. Upon registration you will receive a confirmation letter, then 2-3 weeks in advance of your course you will receive an email with detailed information related to the class.

Cancellations must be received in writing (via email or regular mail) 30 days before starting date to receive a full refund (less a $50 nonrefundable administration fee per registrant).

Cancellation received less than 30 days before starting date may result in forfeit of entire course fee. If we can fill your spot with another registration then your balance is returned, less the $50 nonrefundable administration fee. The sanctuary reserves the right to cancel any course with a full refund to registrants.

For a complete listing of Field School courses visit

Registration is required.
Register by mail: program registration form (PDF 66K)
For your own security, DO NOT send credit card information via email.

For more information, contact:

P.O. Box 236, State Highway Rte. 6
South Wellfleet, MA 02663