‘Sea’ the turtles on Jekyll Island in Georgia
Georgia comes to the rescue every year for sea turtles discovered stranded on beaches along the Atlantic coastline of the U.S., relocating the sick and injured turtles found on the beaches to marine centres as far south as Florida for treatment. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island was reopened in 2007, following renovations to serve as the rehabilitation, research, and education facility in Georgia.
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is able to provide cutting-edge emergency care to sick turtles and long term treatment to prevent premature releases into their natural habitats. Research programs at the center include nest monitoring, satellite tagging, and human impact studies. They seek to “increase awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and empower individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment” as stated in The Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s mission statement.
While visiting the center, visitors learn about conservation efforts, the rehabilitation process, and the life of a sea turtle from egg to adulthood. Exciting special events take place throughout the year. During May, “Nest Fest” allows guests to witness turtle releases. In the peak nesting months of June and July, visitors may participate in evening turtle walks with the possibility of seeing a nesting sea turtle, or take a morning turtle walk to see what is inside a nest that has already been hatched and help record important research data. Other special events take place year round.
The center also offers a behind the scenes tour so visitors can take a peek at the surgery, treatment, and X-ray rooms, food preparation rooms, and animal holding areas where injured species other than sea turtles are kept.
All profits from admissions, gift shop sales, sea turtle adoptions, memberships, and donations are used for operational costs as well as exhibit development and the rehabilitation of The Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s patients.
For more information, visit georgiaseaturtlecenter.org or exploregeorgia.com.