Teri Frady
(508) 495-2239


August 23, 2004

NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

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Sea Turtle Release Scheduled for Wednesday

WHAT: Four rescued sea turtles will be released into the ocean at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 26.
WHERE: Dowses Beach in Osterville, town of Barnstable.
WHO: NOAA Fisheries and New England Aquarium turtle rehab specialists

PRE-EVENT AVAILABILITY: Two NOAA veterinarians have worked with the turtles at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA): Dr. Bridget Dunnigan and Dr. Charles Rogers Williams. They are available for telephone interview Tuesday at the aquarium. Call Teri Frady at 508-495-2239.

HOW TO GET THERE: Route 6 to exit 5. Take a right at the bottom of the ramp onto Route 149. At the fork stay straight following the signs for Osterville. At the stop sign take a left. Take an immediate right onto Osterville West Barnstable Road. Follow to the end and go left onto South County Road (this will become Main Street). From Main Street bear right onto East Bay Road. After a sharp curve look for Dowses Beach entrance on the left.

BACKGROUND: Release includes four endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, ranging from 14 to 22 pounds, sub-adults that washed ashore on Cape Cod beaches last November. The turtles were cold stunned, rescued by volunteers from Massachusetts Audubon Society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The turtles were transported to New England Aquarium where they received critical medical care. Two were moved to the WHSA in December and two more in June, for care while local waters warmed up enough for release.

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 have been tagged to provide information if they re-strand, or appear in Mexico where Kemp’s ridleys still breed.

Since 1992, the Woods Hole Science Aquarium has rehabilitated and released 6 Kemp’s ridleys, two green sea turtles, and two loggerhead sea turtles. Green sea turtles and loggerheads are also protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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