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On the Coast Magazine

Join us today in celebration!

11/21/2014 07:00AM ● Published by Nancy Babin


Fort Walton Beach, Fla - November 20, 2014 - The public is invited to join Gulfarium's Sea Turtle C.A.R.E staff in releasing three green sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, November 21, 2014.  The release will take place at 1:00 p.m. Central Time at Crooked Island East Beach on the east end of Tyndall Air Force Base.

 

All three green sea turtles were brought to Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park after being hooked off the Navarre Beach fishing pier at various times over the last few months. After undergoing successful procedures to remove the fishing hooks, Hazel, Kale, and Ivy have all completely recovered and have demonstrated the skills required for release, such as diving and eating without assistance.

 

Incidental capture in fishing line is one of the greatest threats to sea turtles.  If such an event occurs, the best thing to do is safely secure the turtle and cut the line, leaving at least one or two feet of line.  Do not release the turtle and do not try to remove the hook or line as this can cause damage.  Immediately arrange for transportation to the nearest rehabilitation facility.
 

The Gulfarium Sea Turtle C.A.R.E. Program (Conserve, Act, Rehabilitate, Educate) is open for all species of sea turtles.  Upon arriving at the Gulfarium, turtles are evaluated by animal care and veterinary staff using guidelines from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These guidelines give staff the necessary information needed to evaluate a method for rehabilitation, recovery and release.

 

"We are thrilled to invite the public to join us for the release and cheer these turtles on as they make their way out to the Gulf," says Allen McDowell, Curator of Fish & Invertebrates at the Gulfarium. "We hope to inspire individuals to respect and preserve wildlife by learning a bit more about the challenges they face."

 

To attend the turtle release, head east on Hwy 98 from Fort Walton Beach towards Panama City Beach. The entrance to Crooked Island East Beach is about 1.5 miles east of Research Road (AF Research Lab), and is marked by a small brown sign on the gravel road, just before you exit Tyndall AF Base property.  Take the gravel road to the parking lot and walk along the short  boardwalk (about 200 yards) down to the water. The release will take place promptly at 1:00 p.m. Central Time.
  
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