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.

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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!

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32,453 guests answered our call to “Come See Winter!”

With less than 2 months to the premiere of Dolphin Tale, the Warner Bros.- based Alcon Entertainment major motion picture about CMA’s most famous resident, Winter, CMA broke all time attendance records. Five years ago, CMA’s July attendance was only 9,302, but with the arrival of Winter and a new management team, CMA’s attendance numbers began to consistently increase. In July 2009, CMA reached 23,583 attendees. Today, coinciding with trailers in theatres and promotions beginning around the country, more and more visitors are coming to see Winter, 32,453 to be exact. This represents a 39% growth from July 2010. With the unparalleled publicity from the movie, CMA is progressing on a new path that includes a $12 million dollar expansion that will allow for the growth of the mission – Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release of sick and injured marine animals and public education.

Will you be the next to visit CMA and say hi to Winter?

icu-nowThanks to a generous grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife and the Sea Turtle Conservancy, CMA was granted enough money to revitalize the Sea Turtle ICU area. The ICU is a separate rehabilitation space dedicated to the care of sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis, or FP. FP can be a debilitating, even fatal disease where the sea turtles, mainly green sea turtles in the juvenile age class, develop cutaneous tumor-like growths that cover soft tissue, eyes, plastron and carapace. Unfortunately, the tumors can even grow internally on organs and this is inoperable. Making ICU a more quarantined, clean and environmentally controlled area will make it a better place for the care of some of CMA’s most critical sea turtle rehabilitation patients. Upgrades to the existing area include: air conditioning; a glass door for the public to view in, but to cut down on cross contamination and keep in the cool air; sink and water source; drop ceiling; new light fixtures and electrical outlets; new paint on the walls; floor drain and a closed circuit camera and video system that will allow the public to view the sea turtles without disturbing them during their rehabilitation process.

During the construction phase, which begins July 5th and will last up to 45 days, the few FP sea turtles we currently have in the ICU will be temporarily moved to another large pool on site until their new ICU area is completed. We are extremely excited to have this ability to improve our rehabilitation areas for the well-being of our animals.

We invite everyone to come in late August to check out the new and improved Sea Turtle ICU area!