Join the South Carolina Aquarium for One of the Last Public Sea Turtle Release of 2014

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The Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program Returns Three Sea Turtles into the Ocean

Blu, a Kemp's ridley sea turtle

Blu, Atalaya, and Trawler, three sea turtles rehabilitated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program, are ready once again for the open ocean. The release is scheduled to take place this Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the Folly Beach County Park and is being held in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC). Attendees should plan to carpool, arrive early (County Park gate opens at 10 a.m.), and expect to pay for parking at the county park. After the release, BLU Restaurant and Bar, located at the Tides hotel, will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from its September 5 lunch service to the Sea Turtle Rescue Program. For the first time ever, the Aquarium will be using Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app which captures high-quality time lapse video, that video will be posted on the Aquarium’s social media channels directly after the release.

More about Blu:
Blu, a juvenile Kemps ridley (the most endangered of the sea turtle species) was accidentally caught on a hook and line by a fisherman on the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier this past July. Blu swallowed the hook and was transported to the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program by SCDNR. The Aquarium’s consulting veterinarian, Dr. Biaschoechea, surgically removed the hook from Blu’s esophagus. A few days after surgery, Blu’s appetite returned and after just two months of care, Blu has been medically cleared for release. Blu is named after BLU Restaurant and Bar located at the fishing pier where s/he was caught.

More about Atalaya:
Atalaya, an 80-pound loggerhead sea turtle, was admitted to the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program the same night as the Aquarium’s annual Environmental Stewardship Awards Gala. Atalaya was found stranded on the beach at Huntington Beach State Park in Georgetown County in early May and was deathly ill. Atalaya was emaciated, dehydrated, severely anemic and had intestinal parasites. Treatment included fluids, antibiotics, vitamins and a healthy diet. Atalaya was in critical care for a full month before Aquarium staff started to see substantial improvements in her health. Atalaya is now feisty and back to a healthy weight, swimming around his/her holding pool in preparation for the trip back into the open ocean.

More on Trawler:
Trawler, a 123-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, was captured by the SCDNR Research Vessel, Lady Lisa in late June. Trawler had an unfortunate encounter with a stingray that was caught in the same net and was punctured by the stingray’s barb. Upon admission to the Sea Turtle Rescue Program, Trawler was given fluids, antibiotics, pain medication and the wound was treated and monitored. With the wound fully healed, Trawler is ready to join the loggerhead turtle population in the Atlantic Ocean.

More on the sea turtle release:
Who: The South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program and the CCPRC
What: Public sea turtle release
When: Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11 a.m.
Where: Folly Beach County Park, S.C.
Why: To return an endangered Kemp’s ridley and two threatened loggerhead sea turtles back into the wild

After the release, join us at BLU Restaurant and Bar where 10 percent of the proceeds from lunch will go toward the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program.

More on how to help:
You too can help threatened and endangered sea turtles. If you find a sick or injured sea turtle, contact the SCDNR sea turtle hotline at (800) 922-5431. You can also help care for sea turtles in recovery in the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program by going to and making a donation and by visiting the South Carolina Aquarium and booking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital.

To track the progress of current patients in recovery, visit our Sea Turtle Rescue Program blog at Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates from the hospital, including public sea turtle release details.

For all media inquiries, please contact Kate Dittloff at (843) 579-8660 or kdittloff(at)scaquarium(dot)org

About the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program:
In partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program works to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles that strand along the South Carolina coast. Located in the Aquarium, the Sea Turtle Hospital admits 20 to 30 sea turtles each year. Many of these animals are in critical condition and some are too sick to save.

According to SCDNR, during the past 10 years the average number of sea turtle standings on South Carolina beaches each year is 133. Of these, roughly 10 percent are alive and successfully transported to the Sea Turtle Hospital. To date, the South Carolina Aquarium has successfully rehabilitated and released 139 sea turtles and is currently treating 10 patients. The average cost for each patient’s treatment is $35 per day with the average length of stay reaching nine months.

About the South Carolina Aquarium:
The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston’s most visited attraction, features thousands of amazing aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles in more than 60 exhibits representing the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Dedicated to promoting education and conservation, the Aquarium also presents fabulous views of Charleston harbor and interactive exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.

The South Carolina Aquarium, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving Day, half day Dec. 24 (open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Dec. 25. Admission prices are: Toddlers (2 and under) free; Youth (3-12) $17.95; Adults (13+) $24.95. The Aquarium plus the 4-D Theater experience is free for Toddlers, $22.95 for Children, $29.95 for Adults. The 4-D Theater experience only is $6.95 for Children and Adults, and free for Members. For more information call 843-720-1990 or visit Memberships are available by calling 843-577-FISH.


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Kate Dittloff
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