Today is World Sea Turtle Day! And we are overjoyed that two rehabilitated juvenile green sea turtles are being released back to the wild today at Assateague Island National Seashore where they belong. It is refreshing to see the National Aquarium focusing on rescue and release.
Hardhead was rescued on the coast of Delaware by the MERR Institute and transferred to Baltimore for long-term rehabilitation. He arrived with a low body temperature, broken ribs and a tear in his lungs, which left him unable to swim.
Beachcomber suffered a rare blood infection and kidney problems after stranding along the coast of Cape Cod.
The release will also include 10 rehabbed Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. These endangered sea turtles were some of the more than 200 cold-stunned sea turtles that washed up on Cape Cod beaches this winter.
Did you know that of the seven species of sea turtles, six are found in U.S. waters? All sea turtles occurring in U.S. waters are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).Ten populations are endangered and six populations are threatened.
Major threats to sea turtles in the U.S. include:
· ● destruction and alteration of nesting and feeding habitats
· ● harvesting of eggs and turtles themselves
· ● incidental capture (bycatch) in commercial and recreational fisheries
· ● entanglement in marine debris such as plastics and balloons
· ● vessel strikes
If you live along the east coast, here is a helpful resource if you see a stranded sea turtle on land or an entangled sea turtle in the water.