More than 80 cold stunned sea turtles are currently in rehabilitation at Gulf World Marine Institute due to the cold snap in the area. Florida Fish and Wildlife, United States Geological Survey and Gulf World Marine Institute are collaborating in the search, rescue, transport and rehabilitation of these sea turtles. When the waters get below 50 degrees in shallow bays and estuaries, sea turtles can become shocked by the frigid temperatures. Rescue groups are currently searching in St. Joe Bay and surrounding areas for these cold stunned sea turtles and are bringing them to GWMI for the proper care. “Over the next several days we expect to see additional patients enter rehab. We are estimating around 300 sea turtles to be rescued but that could change with varying temperatures,” says Secret Holmes-Douglas, Director of Gulf World Marine Institute. The animals are being examined by veterinary staff and placed in warmer water. We expect the majority to be tagged and released as early as next week in the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This is a team effort and we appreciate everyone involved for working together to save these sea turtles. Gulf World is accepting donations of towels, blankets, sheets and kiddie pools. These items can be dropped off at the Gulf World gift shop at 15412 Front Beach Rd. Panama City Beach, FL 32413. Gulf World Marine Institute manages the rehabilitation of stranded, sick or injured marine mammals and sea turtles. The institute also serves as an environmental educational leader. The Institute has rescued thousands of sick and debilitated marine animals since 1970. The Institute is considered one of the leading rehabilitation facilities in the National Marine Fisheries Services stranding network. Aside from rescue and rehabilitation, Gulf World Marine Institute facilitates marine and oceanographic research impacting our environment. The Gulf World Marine Institute is a non-profit organization working in tandem with its commercial partner, Gulf World Marine Park. Volunteers are always needed. To find out how you can become a volunteer, check out their website. If you love sea turtles, and want to help the Gulf World Marine Institute, you can symbolically adopt featured patients. Caring for animals in rehabilitation is expensive; every adoption will help support the treatment of patients at the Institute. Follow Gulf World Marine Institute on Facebook. If you see a stranded or deceased dolphin, whale or sea turtle, please immediately report to Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission: 1-888-404-3922 You will be speaking with a dispatch operator. Please have a description of the animal’s size, condition, location, and other important information ready. Please also report if you see a dolphin, whale or sea turtle acting suspiciously, beaching themselves, or carrying fishing wire entanglements. We very much appreciate your assistance to keep our animals safe!