Contact: Frank Donze
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Celebrates World Sea Turtle Day
Thursday, June 16, 2016
To mark the occasion, Aquarium staffers recently attached a GoPro camera onto King Mydas, the facility's popular giant green turtle, providing amazing footage of a typical day inside the vast, 400,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit.
Faced with a host of man-made and natural challenges, almost all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered.
Audubon Nature Institute, like other accredited facilities, partners with state and federal agencies to rescue and rehabilitate injured turtles and promote public education programs, particularly the importance of decreasing the use of plastics and recycling.
Audubon's Coastal Wildlife Network (CWN) is the only rehabilitation facility for sea turtles in the state of Louisiana. Since 2010, 215 sea turtles have been rescued and rehabilitated by CWN. The public can report injured or sick marine mammals or sea turtles by calling 504-235-3005.
"Sea turtles are the largest aquatic turtles living today. We view them as powerful, graceful and mysterious,'' said Beth Firchau, director of husbandry at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
"Too often, we forget they are also dependent on us to safeguard the health of the global ocean. What we do here on land affects sea turtles and other creatures of the sea. On World Sea Turtle Day, we should commit to be good custodians of our planet for their sake.''
Besides their beauty, sea turtles are ultimate survivors, having nested on the world's beaches since the age of dinosaurs millions of years ago. While the species has evolved little over eons, turtles continue to perform important tasks that contribute to the well-being of both the ocean and the Earth's environment.
For example, leatherback and hawkbill sea turtles help keep populations of jellyfish and sponges in check while Green sea turtles like Mydas eat sea grass. Without sea turtles, grass beds would grow into tall blades that would hamper breeding and development of many kinds of marine life.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street. For more information, please visit audubonnatureinstitute.org
Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Special Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.