The Marine Science Center purchased a blood analyzer and interactive displays.
Sick and injured sea turtles being treated at the Marine Science Center (MSC) in Ponce Inlet will benefit from two grants totaling $20,441 from the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is funded by the sale of sea turtle specialty license plates.
Of the funds, $12,195 was used to purchase a blood analyzer and accessories that provide rapid results.
“Previously, we had to send blood work to an outside lab for testing, which delayed diagnosis and treatment,” said Turtle Hospital Manager Allie Bernstein. “With our new equipment, we can receive comprehensive results in minutes.”
The remaining funds were used for camera equipment and interactive displays for visitors.
“A live view camera will be placed above our turtle surgery area so visitors can get a bird’s eye view of veterinary procedures on a large-screen television,” said Special Projects Manager Mike McCue. “We also purchased four interactive, touchscreen computers visitors can use to scroll through educational materials and photos of sea turtle rehabilitation.”
The Marine Science Center was chosen for the awards through a competitive application process that is open to coastal county governments, educational institutions and Florida-based nonprofit groups striving to improve the livelihood of sea turtles and conserve Florida habitats.
As the only permitted sea turtle rehabilitators in Volusia County, the MSC plays an important role in preserving the health of sea turtles in Central Florida. Since opening in 2002, the center has cared for more than 24,000 sea turtles.
Launched in 1996, the "Helping Sea Turtles Survive" specialty license plate raises money for two important programs that benefit Florida sea turtles: the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission's Marine Turtle Protection Program and the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which distributes money to the local level for turtle conservation projects. Learn more about the grant program at www.helpingseaturtles.org.
While the Marine Science Center is temporarily closed to the public, residents can watch videos about the center’s programs and animals on Volusia County Community Information’s Facebook page. For more information, visit www.marinesciencecenter.com.
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