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|Sea Research Preparing to Send Assistance to the Gulf Region|
MYSTIC, Conn. - Sea Research Foundation announced today that it has made preparations to deploy animal care resources to the Gulf Coast region, including veterinary staff, animal stranding personnel and a coordinated volunteer effort.
“We are in communication with key institutions in the Gulf Coast region and will be working collaboratively with them to assist in protecting ocean resources and wildlife in whatever ways we can whenever necessary,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation.
“The oil leak is an environmental disaster of epic proportion. There is plenty of time for people to talk about what went wrong or to hold others responsible. Right now, everyone needs to be focused on protecting the ocean environment and the living creatures, from marine mammals to invertebrates that are in harm’s way,” Coan said.
Coan was in Washington, D.C. during the past several days and briefed the Connecticut Congressional delegation on the preparations being made to bring assistance to the Gulf Coast region. He also called on federal authorities within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to temporarily lift restrictions on the inter-state movement of marine mammals and other species so that facilities like Mystic Aquarium can assist in providing space for animals in need of rehabilitative care.
The Sea Research Foundation effort is being chaired by Trustee Tom Mosey, president and CEO of Mini Melts Ice Cream, and his wife Julie Mosey. Julie Mosey is a native of Louisiana, and the Mosey family volunteered in the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Katrina.
Vice President of Education and Public Conservation Programs Kelly Matis is coordinating the Sea Research effort, working closely with the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans and the United States Coast Guard command. Specific details on ways to get involved will be forthcoming as the needs in the Gulf Coast region relative to environmental clean-up operations become clearer.
In the meantime, people can find information on the Gulf Coast and the effect of oil on marine animals, as well as how they can help protect oceans at mysticaquarium.org. At ImmersionLearning.org, the Web site for Immersion Learning – Sea Research Foundation’s national education division – and Immersion’s Facebook page, kids can find up-to-the-minute news coverage on the oil spill.
In the past, Sea Research Foundation has provided animal rescue and rehabilitation assistance during the Treasure oil spill in South Africa in 2000, and continues to send researchers there to collect data on the African penguin population, including birds that were oiled, to better understand the effect of oil spills on marine animals. In addition, Mystic Aquarium has been rescuing stranded marine mammals for more than 30 years, and is a founding member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network. The network consists of independent organizations dedicated to caring for sick and injured animals and learning more about the reasons they come ashore. In all, the aquarium has responded to more than 875 stranding calls from the public, treating more than 375 marine mammals and turtles and releasing more than 175 back into the oceans.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
This press release was published on May 6, 2010.
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