Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park has been active in marine animal rescue and rehabilitation for many years. The C.A.R.E. Center was developed in 2015 as a non-profit to facilitate and further our continued coastal conservation efforts. The program has helped to rehabilitate and release various species of sea turtles found in the Gulf Coast, from the Loggerhead, Green, Kemp’s ridley, to the Leatherback. Over the years hundreds of sea turtles have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild by the Gulfarium.

Our Mission:

The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center acts as a beacon for coastal conservation through marine animal rescue and rehabilitation, encouraging awareness with public education and opportunities for active participation. 

CONSERVE

Ensure the future of marine animals and their habitats

ACT

Play an active role in marine conservation

REHABILITATE

Support marine animal rescue, recovery, and release

EDUCATE

Inspire awareness for marine conservation issues

Donate

Follow our C.A.R.E. Center on Facebook!

 

Our rehabilitation facility and hospital are in need of some items that will help to further support the care of our current and future patients. If you would like to help the C.A.R.E. Center by purchasing any of these items, please take a look at our Amazon Wish List at https://a.co/hb3ghY4. We greatly appreciate your support!

 

Rehabilitation

When a sea turtle patient arrives, it is evaluated by animal care and veterinary staff using guidelines from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  These guidelines give our staff the necessary information needed to evaluate a method for rehabilitation, recovery, and release.

Although every effort is made to release the turtle back to the ocean, occasionally a sea turtle is deemed non-releasable due to medical or physical limitations.  These turtles are given a permanent home and full-time care here at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center

Continue reading to learn more about recent Gulfarium Marine Adventure park sea turtle releases or what you can do if you find a stranded sea turtle.

Stranding FAQs

What do I do if I find a stranded animal?

If the animal appears to be injured or dead, call to notify the appropriate authorities.  To report a stranded animal in Alabama, call 1-(866)-SEA-TURT (1-866-732-8878), and in Florida, call 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).  Do not touch the animal, remove it from the beach, or attempt to push it back into the water as this can cause the animal to re-strand and die.  Instead, monitor the animal from a safe distance.  While waiting for authorities to arrive, note the position of the animal and monitor its breathing.

How close can I get to a sea turtle nest?

Approaching within 50 yards of a sea turtle nest is illegal.  Please observe from a distance.

How close can I get if I encounter a sea turtle?

Approaching within 50 yards of a sea turtle is illegal.  Please observe from a distance. Do not feed, or attempt to feed, any marine turtles. If you encounter a sea turtle while you are in a water vehicle, please slow down and operate at a no-wake speed. 

Why do I have to turn off beach lights at night?

Lighting pollution is a serious threat to many types of wildlife, particularly nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. Nesting females use the moonlight to direct themselves when returning to the ocean and when hatchlings burst from the nest, they scramble for the brightest horizon, typically the moon glimmering off the water. Artificial lights can lead the turtles away from the safety of the water. Between May through October, from dusk until dawn, turn all exterior lights visible from the beach off from dusk to dawn and avoid flashlights, fireworks, and bonfires on the beach. If you must use a flashlight, apply a red filter or covering to make it sea turtle safe. 

What can I do to ensure a clear path to the ocean for the hatchlings?

Remove all beach chairs, umbrellas, and other items at the end of the day to avoid obstruction during sea turtle nesting season.  Flatten sand castles and fill in holes at the end of your beach visit to create a safe path for nesting females and sea turtle hatchlings.

Release 

The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center promotes rehabilitation and release of all stranded sea turtle species. After the appropriate medical attention and care is provided, as deemed by a veterinarian, the sea turtle is release back into the ocean at a location determined by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Check out our Featured News page to read some of our release stories. 

Donate

 

 

Our rehabilitation efforts are funded in part by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtles License Plate. Learn more at www.helpingseaturtles.org.