We’d like to share that the National Aquarium is poised to lend assistance. As an active member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network, we are closely connected with agencies responding to this disaster. We were notified to expect requests for help with the sea turtles injured by the oil. We are assessing our facility and have a team of highly skilled staff members ready to help. Animals and oil are coming ashore now in significant numbers and response efforts must be coordinated, far-reaching and long term.
This man-made disaster has the potential to be devastating to these fragile animals. There are only seven species of sea turtles in the world, and all of them are endangered or threatened, at risk of being wiped out completely. Five of these vulnerable species frequent the Gulf of Mexico to breed and to lay their eggs. We believe the stakes are too high not to invest the time and resources to help as many turtles as possible. Truly, every sea turtle counts. Learn more about our efforts here.
Beyond this disaster, we remain committed to caring for stranded animals in our own mid-Atlantic region. This Saturday, June 19, we are proudly releasing three rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that have been under our care since December.
The turtles came to the National Aquarium from New England and Delaware, suffering from cases of cold stunning- the sea turtle equivalent of hypothermia. After six months of rehabilitation by The National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP), the turtles, named Marshall, Patterson, and Hampden, are ready to return to their ocean home!
They will be escorted from Baltimore to the southern tip of Maryland in our new Official Conservation Vehicle, a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid. The move marks the first of many animal rescue efforts that will take place as part of the ongoing partnership between the National Aquarium and Chevrolet. The public is invited to join the Aquarium and Chevrolet on the beach at Point Lookout State Park for an 11:00 a.m. release.
Many of you have contacted us asking how you can help. As we all brace for the long road ahead in the Gulf, we ask that you please consider a tax-deductible contribution to the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program. Beyond this disaster, we remain committed to caring for stranded animals in our own mid-Atlantic region and we expect that program to remain busy. Your contribution helps us continue that important work while we assist with the catastrophic results of this oil spill in the Gulf.