4 sea turtles released at Ponce Inlet after rehabilitation

It was a celebration today on the shores of Ponce Inlet as four juvenile green sea turtles got a fresh start to their lives. 

The cheesily-named sea turtles Hopyard, Orkney, Quark, and Smoked Gouda were found stranded in the coastal waters of Volusia County in February and March.

"Several of them came in lethargic, underweight, covered in epibiota – like barnacles and algae," said Allie Bernstein, Marine Science Center Turtle Rehabilitation Manager. "Some were really anemic and required blood transfusions as well."

Thanks to the efforts of the Marine Science Center, these turtles were treated and approved for release back to their homes today. Beachgoers were grateful for the hard work and patience to get to this day. "Some people have gone through a lot of effort to get these turtles rehabbed and released today," said Tracey from Ohio, who brought her daughter to the beach for the first time in her life.


So far this year, the Marine Science Center has received 158 sea turtles. Since it opened in 2002, the center has cared for 27,000 sea turtles. According to its website, common threats to sea turtles include becoming entangled in fishing nets, boat strikes, ingesting foreign objects, and changes in water temperatures.

Bernstein says they want to get the turtles back out to the natural environment so that they can eventually become part of the breeding population. If you find an injured sea turtle, Bernstein suggests calling them or the Fish & Wildlife Hotline at 888-404-3922.