Turtle Release Scheduled for Thursday 2003/08/27 Turtle Release Scheduled for Thursday


Turtle Release

Schedule for




George Liles
(508) 495-2267


NMFS Northeast Region



Turtle Release Scheduled for Thursday

Woods Hole, Mass. – Four rescued sea turtles will be released at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The release will occur at Dowses Beach in Osterville, which is in the town of Barnstable. Parking there is very tight, and town officials request that the agencies coordinating the release minimize the number of vehicles used. Any press interested in attending is asked to gather at 12:45 p.m. at the Village Market in Osterville. We will consolidate and shuttle rides from there.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP George Liles at the NOAA Fisheries Woods Hole Science Aquarium (774) 263-8708 or Tony LaCasse at the New England Aquarium (617) 973-5213.

Directions to the Village Market in Osterville: Route 6 to exit 5; right at the bottom of the ramp onto Rte. 149; At the fork stay straight following the signs to Osterville; at the stop sign take a left; take an immediate right onto Osterville West Barnstable Road; follow to the end; take a left onto South County Rd (this will become Main St.); follow through Osterville Center, at the fork stay left; at the bottom of the hill take a left into Wimpy's; then take an immediate right into the parking area.

The turtles being released are two green sea turtles and two Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. All four animals are sub-adults that washed ashore on Cape Cod beaches last November. The turtles were cold stunned and would have died on the beaches if they had not been rescued by volunteers from Mass Audubon.

The turtles were transported to New England Aquarium where they received critical medical care for three weeks. In late November they were moved to NOAA’s Woods Hole Science Aquarium. The aquarium staff has cared for the animals since November, feeding them, monitoring their health, and waiting until local waters warmed up enough that the turtles could be released safely.

Green sea turtles are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are highly endangered. Each individual turtle is important and needs to be returned to the wild to help the maintain genetic diversity in the population. The turtles being released this week have been tagged with flipper tags that will provide information if they strand again in future years.

Two NOAA veterinarians have worked with the turtles at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium: Dr. Bridget Dunnigan and Dr. Charles Rogers Williams. They are available for telephone interview at the aquarium: 508-495-2267.


NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries, please visit http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources.

NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service * 166 Water Street * Woods Hole, MA * 02543
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