Gulf World Marine Institute Awarded Grants for Sea Turtle Rehabilitation
August 25, 2015 by SoWal Staff
Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) has been awarded two grants totaling $13,560 that will assist in the rehabilitation of stranded sea turtles. The Institute at Gulf World Marine Park serves as the premier facility in Northern Florida that provides short and long term rehabilitation to sea turtles as part of its collaboration with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
An $8,150 grant has been awarded from the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate Grants Program for the purchase of software to upgrade GWMI’s existing digital radiograph processer. Radiographs (x-rays) are essential in rehabilitation efforts in order to properly assess sea turtles entering rehabilitation. All sea turtles that enter into rehabilitation at GWMI get three view radiographs that assess lung health, foreign body digestion and potential fractures of the skeleton. These images help determine proper medical management.
The Institute also received a $5,410 grant to purchase a large water proof animal scale. This scale will be used to accommodate the large loggerhead sea turtles that migrate along our coastline. Correct body weight is used to determine proper drug dosages. Since most stranded sea turtles are malnourished, it is essential to monitor the animal's weight to guarantee proper weight gain. The scale is currently aiding the staff as they continue their rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast.
The Sea Turtle Grants Program is administered by the Sea Turtle Conservancy and funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at www.helpingseaturtles.org.
Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach is home to the non-profit Gulf World Marine Institute that responds to sick, injured or stranded animals, rehabilitates and releases them into the wild and serves as an educational resource to schools throughout our area. The Institute has rescued thousands of sick and debilitated marine animals since 1970. Learn more about their important work at www.gulfworldmarineinstitute.org.
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