Posts Tagged 'ocean city'



Rescued harbor seal is going home

Hastings strandingThis juvenile male harbor seal was stranded along the Atlantic coast of Maryland, in the town of Ocean City, on January 15, 2010. The Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) responded, and the seal was admitted to the National Aquarium for rehabilitation.

Upon admission, the seal was underweight, severely dehydrated, mildly emaciated, and medically compromised due to a wound behind the left front flipper. In addition to the wound, he was found to have an upper respiratory infection and a mild case of pneumonia at the time of being admitted for rehab.

The seal, called Hastings, was treated with antibiotics for several weeks, and his wound was treated every three days for two weeks. Hastings responded well to treatment and was soon interacting with enrichment devices, the animal equivalent of toys, and eagerly eating. While in rehab, Hastings gained nearly 20 pounds on a daily diet of herring and capelin. He is offered enrichment items to interact with, like frozen fishcicles and a holey bucket with fish inside, to encourage natural feeding behaviors.

Hastings

Tomorrow morning, a healthy Hastings will be returned to Ocean City for release back to his natural environment. The release is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., and will be broadcast live locally on WMAR-TV (Ch. 2).

Follow the Aquarium on Twitter (@NatlAquarium) for live tweets from the release, starting at 5 a.m. tomorrow.

Prior to release, MARP staff will affix a satellite transmitter to his fur, which will fall off when the seal molts (similar to when a dog sheds its fur). The transmitter will allow us to track and monitor the animal post-release, and will help scientists to understand the migration and feeding patterns of these animals.

Released loggerhead turtle travels on!

The Maryland Coast Dispatch, a local paper in Ocean City, Maryland, has reported that three deceased loggerhead turtles were found on the beaches of Ocean City last weekend. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recovered the turtles and biologists are currently  investigating each turtle for cause of death. We want to assure our followers that Flight and Release, the loggerhead turtle released by the National Aquarium at Assateague State Park in September, is not one of these turtles.Turtle in Water for blog

Flight and Release is being tracked through a satelite tag that was affixed to its shell prior to release. We are happy to report that the turtle has traveled over 130 miles since being released from the beach at Assateague. As of October 1st, the turtle was swimming off the coast of Virginia near the mouth of the Chesapeake.  You can track the turtle’s journey here

Marine animals strandings and recoveries are not uncommon along the coastal areas of Maryland. If the animal is alive, the National Aquarium responds to examine see if rescue and rehabilitation is needed.  The DNR responds when dead marine animals wash ashore and conduct research to determine a cause of death. The DNR maintains a 24-hour hotline that connects to Maryland Natural Resource Police (NRP) for private citizens who find sick, injured or deceased marine mammals on the beach. The number to call is 1-800-628-9944.

Click here to see more pictures of Flight and Release!

Counting dolphins

The National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program is hosting Maryland’s annual dolphin count tomorrow, 019Friday the 17th, along the coast of Ocean City! Staff and volunteers will spend a few hours on the beach watching the water for passing dolphins and filling out data sheets.  The teams will be stationed on the beaches at 40th street and 130th street and at Assateague State Park. There will also be a vessel based team aboard an Ocean City Coast Guard boat.

Think you know how many dolphins we will spot tomorrow? Text “dolphin” and your guess to 30644 and you could win a pair of tickets to the Aquarium! The contest will end at 1 p.m. ET on Friday. The official count and winners will be announced here so please check back Friday afternoon. Good luck!

Why are we counting dolphins? Annual dolphin counts help marine mammal specialists gather long-term information about dolphin populations, reproduction rates and ocean health. We have learned that bottlenose dolphins use Maryland waters as a thoroughfare for migration, summertime breeding, and feeding along the way.  Looking at population numbers over the years can help to determine the health of the coastal ecosystem as well as the abundance of prey.  With your help we will continue to gather and analyze this information and learn more about the state of our waters and the dolphin populations that are found off our coast.

MARP to the rescue!

On July 27 our Marine Animal Rescue Program team took in a stranded female loggerhead sea turtle found near the inlet in Ocean City, Maryland by the Coast Guard. The turtle was observed floating near a rock jetty – in the surf headed for the rocks. The Coast Guard retrieved the turtle after noticing signs of exhaustion and failed attempts to swim away. She was transported to the Aquarium’s hospital pool in Baltimore later then evening.

Upon arrival she weighed 57 lbs, which is about 10-15 lbs under normal weight. The most interesting observation of the turtle was that she was covered in all kinds of epibionts (mussels, barnacles, algae, crabs, worms, etc.) upon retrieval, as you can see in the before and after pictures. The rescue team removed about 10 lbs of epibionts from the poor turtle. She also had many embedded barnacles on the carapace, plastron, limbs and head and has suffered superficial scale loss on all limbs.

» Continue reading ‘MARP to the rescue!’

Counting dolphins

 

The National Aquarium is counting dolphins!

 

On Saturday, July 19th the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Team will lead Maryland’s annual dolphin count in an effort to determine the state’s dolphin population.  Annual dolphin counts help scientists gather long-term information about dolphin populations, reproduction rates and ocean health. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries department monitors dolphin populations and regulations surrounding them.

 

Visiting Ocean City this weekend? Please join us for a weekend of festivities and participate in the count

 

Thursday, July 17  
Bonfire on the Beach
9 p.m.
N. Division St. and the Beach

Help us celebrate the ocean by enjoying the evening around a beautiful bonfire on the beach! Learn more about the Aquarium’s conservation efforts and Marine Animal Rescue program.

 

Friday, July 18  
Happy Hour at Seacrets

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
 Join us for a special happy hour at Secrets. Enjoy special activities and give-aways and support the Aquarium’s conservation department!

 

Saturday, July 19
Dolphin Count

Main location: 40th Street beach
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 

The Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program will be counting dolphins by land, and sea! Staff and local community volunteers will be stationed at various locations along the 26 miles of Maryland coast, searching for dolphins. We are also enlisting the help of the Ocean City Station of the United States Coast Guard! If are you interested in helping, please meet us at one of the our beach locations: Inlet, 20th, 40th, 65th, 80th, 100th, or 120th  at 8:30 a.m.

 

Community volunteers allow the Aquarium to have more counting stations along the beach, providing a more accurate representation of the Maryland dolphin population. We hope to see you there!


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