Local conservation groups treat 30 cold stunned sea turtles
Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMSEAS) in West Hampton and New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC) in Riverhead are treating 30 cold stunned turtles.
The turtles flew in from the New England Aquarium on Thursday. The flight was coordinated by Turtles Fly Too, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection of sea turtles.
Cold stunning occurs when water temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Since turtles are cold-blooded, they can't produce heat and can become hypothermic or "cold stunned" in these conditions.
AMSEAS admitted 20 Kemp's ridley sea turtles and NYMRC admitted one loggerhead, two green and seven Kemp's ridley turtles. It's the fourth year AMSEAS has participated in the event and the sixth year for NYMRC.
Biologists and volunteers from both organizations will assess each turtle individually and come up with a care plan. The goal is to rehabilitate the turtles and eventually release and monitor them later in the summer.
In New York, you can report cold stun sightings to the NY Stranding Hotline at 631-369-9829. Click here if you'd like to learn more about AMSEAS or NYMRC