Keep your eyes open for a lot of upcoming changes…things are about to get crazy! Yet this is an extremely exciting time for us and we so honored to be able to spread the word and educate the world on our mission of rescuing, rehabbing and releasing marine life.

We have been making plans to expand our square footage to improve the guest experience. Also, with the West Side construction starting soon we needed to add portable restrooms as our old restrooms are being bulldozed very soon.

tickettent

Adding tents on the North side of the building covered both issues. We are now operational with our new ticket trailers. These will relieve the bottleneck indoors where ticket sales and retail sales had shared the same area. Once our guest purchases a ticket they will walk into the fenced area where a Guest Service Specialist will greet the guest and verify they have purchased a ticket.

Once inside the fence the guests are now free to roam the entire guest side of the building and come and go from the building to the fenced area to utilize the restrooms and the activities that the Hospitality team will provide under the tents.

We have designated new handicapped parking spaces beside the ticket trailers to ensure a positive guest experience for our disabled guests. We have reclassified the restroom by surgery as our ADA restroom as the restrooms outside are not designed for ADA.

ICU:

The rehab of our Turtle ICU is moving forward and is slated to re-open the week of Sept. 12th. When completed this area will have air conditioning and a new drop ceiling with improved lighting. The new glass door will allow our guests to have a clear view into the area while maintaining good quarantine. We will also have two cameras placed in this space which will have a live feed out into the public space so the guests can have a better view of the turtles in the pools. The new look will not only be great for the public but will better serve the turtles in this area.

Please help us continue to rescue the injured and sick marine life! We need you!

bailey

Bailey is one of our Green Sea Turtle Residents. Bailey is paralyzed in the rear flippers and suffers from a buoyancy disorder due to spinal cord damage. It is believed that Bailey was dropped from a net onto a fishing boat, thereby paralyzing him and making him unreleasable.

Adopt Bailey today and help feed her for a week!

Marley is a juvenile sea green turtle and was admitted in March from the Crystal River area with active fibropapilloma tumors and possible shell rot. Marley responded well to aggressive supportive rehab management and nutrition. After several months Marley’s symptoms resolved and was deemed releasable.

As the Sea Turtle Nesting Team was out patrolling the beaches, they discovered a mama loggerhead nesting. This is normally done at night so it was quite a special treat to see this happening in broad daylight.

NESTING SEASON UPDATE: The 2011 sea turtle nesting season is off to a good start. As of July 5, we have found 68 nests in our patrol area which stretches from the south end of Caladesi Island State Park, through Upham Beach in St. Pete Beach. Our first nest was found on May 5, at Sand Key Park. For the 2009 nesting season our first nest was found on May 23, and as of June 22, 2010 we had found 31 nests. In 2010, we ended up with a total of 119 nests. Hopefully with the start that we have had this year, we will beat last year’s nest numbers.

Generally in our area we only see loggerhead turtle nests, but last year nest 119 was laid by a green turtle. This is the first time CMA has ever recorded a green turtle nest. This year we have already had a few unexpected surprises – we have already recorded two Kemp’s Ridley nests in our area. The last time we’ve seen these in our area was 2002. It’s already been an exciting season and it is still very early.

Nests will start hatching in the next week so it’s about to get even busier. Luckily we had a great turnout at our annual sea turtle nesting volunteer orientation meetings which were held early in June. Along with the team of eager nest sitting volunteers, we also have four enthusiastic interns, Christa, Dana, Emily, and Jessica. Also, Beverly Austin, who was a 2010 nesting intern, has stayed with us and is using her experience to help with morning patrol and to train the new interns.

Adopt a Nest Today!