Sea Turtles Ready for Lift Off

We have been very busy as of late with harp seals, grey seal weaners, and our turtles. On Tuesday Dr. Innis and I headed south to bring 24 Kemp's ridley sea turtle's to the Canaveral National Seashore in New Smyrna Beach Florida. Releasing these rescued sea turtles here seems particularly fitting, since they were all named after astronomical terms and the final space shuttle launches are taking place this year at the Kennedy Space Center.

Turtle release at Canaveral National Seashore

Dr. Charles Innis At Canaveral National Seashore

Of these turtles 16 were directly transferred from the New England Aquarium, 3 were from University of New England, 3 from Wood’s Hole Aquarium and 2 were picked up from the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Dr. Charles Innis of the New England Aquarium
and Jen Dittmar from the National Aquarium Stranding Department

The day started early with a media event. I arrived at 6:30 a.m. to meet the Aquarium’s public relations guru, Tony, and New England Cable News to talk about the turtles and the release. After a couple of hours of pretransport treatments we were on our way. After about 5 minutes of good times we hit traffic on 93 north. The turtles, Charlie, and I were none to happy.

Turtles stacked in their crates in the back of the van

After forty minutes we were all now happily heading west on I-90. Our first stop was in Baltimore were we met Jen Dittmar from the National Aquarium Stranding Department. She gave us two of the turtles they have been caring for since this past cold-stun season [You can read her blog posts here]. After securing the turtles we headed south to Richmond to drop off our loggerhead with a couple great volunteers, Kathleen and TR, from the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. There the turtle will continue its rehab and hopefully get a satellite tag prior to release. Then for the long haul... another 12 hours to New Smyrna Beach and the Canaveral National Seashore. It was worth it though.

Holding Kemp's ridley turtles to release

Taking a turtle to the water

Releasing a turtle into the surf

Watching the turtles return to the Atlantic Ocean

The team poses for a photo after the release.


Check last year's release post here.


  1. How do we get all the nice photos with none of the blogger himself? Alas, bon voyage to our winter tenants.

  2. Hi,

    Very good job done by all of you - all team members.

    Olive Ridley Sea turtle