Aquarium of the Pacific, located in Long Beach, CA, is a great place to learn about sea creatures and animals of all sorts. They also help to teach the public about endangered species and care for marine life in need. They're really a wonderful organization!
Recently two green sea turtles were injured by fishing hooks off the coast of Southern California. One is still being nurtured but the other turtle was fully rehabilitated by Aquarium of the Pacific and released back into the wild yesterday, and I had the amazing opportunity to watch the whole thing happen! Together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Harbor Breeze Cruises, Aquarium of the Pacific was able to return the turtle back to the ocean and invite a group of people to be present for the experience.
We first got to see the turtle up close, then it was put on a boat we followed in our Harbor Breeze Cruises yacht. Once we were far enough out to sea, we all watched as it was slowly lowered into the Pacific.
After the turtle was released, we headed back to land and into the Aquarium to see the other one still being cared for. I am pretty positive it was hamming it up for us because it kept swimming the span of the window so we could all take pictures. Look at that face - it's like a cuter version of Grumpy Cat. Totally judging us humans excited to take it's picture as it flapped around putting on a show!
While it was an experience of a lifetime, I want to get serious for a second. We have to do better to protect all animals - from the sea and land alike. Here are some helpful tips to reduce the risk of extinction of turtles (yes, all of the sea turtle species are endangered!):
- Throw your trash away - they will eat garbage and it can be fatal.
- Reduce toxins - chemical you use and throw down the drain really do make their way to the ocean.
- Watch out for eggs - it's cool to see nature up close, but do it from a safe distance so you don't disturb the nests.
These creatures are so incredible and we don't want to lose them!