BENEFITING: AUDUBON NATURE INSTITUTE FOUNDATION
EVENT: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Relief
Audubon Nature Institute is committed to the welfare of aquatic wildlife during the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, the people responsible for their safety, and our community's successful recovery. The Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program (LMMSTRP), coordinated by Audubon Aquarium of the Americas since 1993, has been designated as the primary responder for the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of all marine mammals (dolphins, whales and manatees) and sea turtles along the Louisiana coast.
Audubon’s response will directly impact the future of endangered sea turtles and marine mammals along Louisiana’s coast. We need your support to ensure that we can rescue, rehabilitate and successfully release stranded and injured animals.
Experts anticipate that the greatest number of animals affected will be sea turtles. Hundreds of sea turtles are expected to be stranded along Louisiana’s beaches in the upcoming days. Audubon is working closely with many other organizations including Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, NOAA, and the U.S. Coast Guard to monitor the situation and to prepare for the arrival of stranded and injured marine wildlife.
A major challenge is the impact on the animal's natural environment and their long-term care. Because the animals cannot be released back into their native habitat, they must be housed until the Gulf is safe for release. The rescue and rehabilitation of each sea turtle is estimated at $5,000 for equipment, supplies, medication and veterinary staff time—and we do not know how long they will need to be cared for before they can return to the wild.