While many humans sought solitude and shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic, sea turtles kept on doing, well, what sea turtles do. They laid nests, fed on marine life and glided gracefully through coastal waters.
Throughout the coronavirus shutdown, the staff of the Marine Science Center (MSC) continued to care for sick and injured turtles even though their doors were closed to the public.
The public is invited to return to the popular Ponce Inlet destination beginning June 6, when the center will begin a phased reopening. Initially, the center will be open only on weekends, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.
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Admission will be limited to 40 persons at a time. Visitors will be required to pass a health screening with a temperature of less than 100.4 degrees and no symptoms of COVID-19.
Come Meet Tantomile and Louisa
Visitors may view the turtle hospital, where 15 sea turtles are being treated, including Tantomile and Louisa.
Tantomile stranded at Bethune Park in New Smyrna Beach on March 28 after suffering a boat strike to the head. The juvenile loggerhead is receiving oral antibiotics, and the head wound is progressing well. Tantomile weighed 60.8 pounds upon arrival at the turtle hospital and has packed on nearly 5 pounds, thanks to a healthy diet of squid, mackerel and shrimp.
Louisa, a green sea turtle, was brought to the MSC on May 26 with an old boat strike to the carapace. The 6.3 pound turtle, who was found floating in the waters off New Smyrna Beach, is receiving antibiotics, fluids and wound care.
Visitors may also walk through the marine display area and visit the gift shop. Staff will not offer live animal presentations, and the classroom and bird exhibits will be closed to the public until further notice.
Source: Volusia County
Volusia County residents can participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s 35th annual International Coastal Cleanup anywhere along the beach, Halifax River or Indian River Lagoon on Sept. 18, 19 and 20.
Volusia County’s Community Assistance Division will accept emergency repair applications from homeowners who have experienced a financial loss due to COVID-19. Applications will be accepted only from Aug. 20 through Sept. 2.
The St. John’s River Water Management District, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), has announced the Fellsmere Reservoir boat ramp in Indian River County opened to the public on Monday, Aug. 10.
The overall economic impacts of premier aviation and aerospace institution Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and Arizona now surpasses $2.3 billion – up 44% since 2016, the independent Washington Economics Group (WEG) has reported.
Residents of Daytona Beach can show their civic spirit by participating in City Hall Selfie Day, which is Friday, Aug. 14.
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