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Kemps Ridley turtle released at Honeymoon Island

Kemps Ridley turtle released at Honeymoon Island

Clearwater, Florida - A Kemps Ridley turtle that recovered from swallowing a fisherman's baited hook 5 weeks ago was released back into the gulf today.

Volunteers from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium set "Wally" free at Honeymoon Island. It was CMA's 10th sea turtle release of the year.

The turtle, one of the most endangered in the world, was brought to the aquarium May 18th. A fisherman caught the turtle at the Redington Beach Pier after it swallowed a baited hook and heavy test line.

Veterinarian Dr. Mike Walsh and staff were able to extract the hook and line, and it took about three weeks for "Wally" to resume eating well enough to be released.

CMA advises anyone who sees a hooked sea turtle not to reel it in or try to extract the hook. Instead, call Florida Fish and Wildlife or the Clearwater Marina Aquarium.

See Winter in Dolphin Tale's Official Featurette

Most local residents know by now that Clearwater Marine Aquarium's famous amputee dolphin, Winter, is starring in a major motion picture, due out September 23, 2011.  Now the official featurette is also available, for all the Winter fans out there who want to stay up to date! You can view the featurette above.

The film, Dolphin Tale (Alcon Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures) is inspired by the amazing true story of the brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life.

Much of Dolphin Tale was filmed on location here in Florida, including Winter’s home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, whose motto is “Rescue, Rehabilitate and Return.”

Here is the rest of the synopsis from the movie's official website:

Gulfport: The Pier Aquarium supports local schools

Gulfport: The Pier Aquarium supports local schools

St. Petersburg, Florida -- The Pier Aquarium has announced two foundation grants that will support education programs this year and 2012.

The Margaret Ewell Dickins Foundation of St. Petersburg and the Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation, St. Petersburg have both awarded grants to fund educational programming including Ocean in Motion (OIM), a traveling touch tank program with an outreach education curriculum.

During the summer, OIM will be stationed at the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg, 1450 16th St. N.

A collaborative initiative involving elementary school teachers, local marine research institutions and The Pier Aquarium, OIM provides teachers and their students a unique seven-week marine science education program.

The Pier Aquarium supports local schools

The Pier Aquarium supports local schools

St. Petersburg, Florida -- The Pier Aquarium has announced two foundation grants that will support education programs this year and 2012.

The Margaret Ewell Dickins Foundation of St. Petersburg and the Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation, St. Petersburg have both awarded grants to fund educational programming including Ocean in Motion (OIM), a traveling touch tank program with an outreach education curriculum.

During the summer, OIM will be stationed at the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg, 1450 16th St. N.

A collaborative initiative involving elementary school teachers, local marine research institutions and The Pier Aquarium, OIM provides teachers and their students a unique seven-week marine science education program.

The Pier Aquarium supports local schools

The Pier Aquarium supports local schools

St. Petersburg, Florida -- The Pier Aquarium has announced two foundation grants that will support education programs this year and 2012.

The Margaret Ewell Dickins Foundation of St. Petersburg and the Alvah H. and Wyline P. Chapman Foundation, St. Petersburg have both awarded grants to fund educational programming including Ocean in Motion (OIM), a traveling touch tank program with an outreach education curriculum.

During the summer, OIM will be stationed at the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg, 1450 16th St. N.

A collaborative initiative involving elementary school teachers, local marine research institutions and The Pier Aquarium, OIM provides teachers and their students a unique seven-week marine science education program.

Remember to turn off lights for turtle season

Remember to turn off lights for turtle season

Redington Beach -- Remember that beach front lighting should be turned off during turtle season.

Nesting season is May 1 - August 31 and hatching season is July 1 to October 31.

It is the code of the Town of Redington Beach to minimize artificial light illuminating areas of the beach.

Redington Beach has a Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance, Section 4.9.

Coastal nesting birds need your help

Coastal nesting birds need your help

Audubon of Florida is asking people who visit Florida's beaches this Memorial Day holiday weekend to be mindful of roped-off areas and warning signs that have been placed along beaches where colonial and solitary nesting birds are raising their young, as well as at offshore heron and egret nesting areas.

"This is an amazing time of year for Florida’s coast," said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon’s Director of Wildlife Conservation. “Some truly remarkable birds choose the abundant shores of Florida to raise their young. As Floridians, we have a unique opportunity to help these defenseless chicks flourish. By following a few simple steps, we can ensure this holiday weekend is safe and enjoyable for our families and our beach nesting birds.”

Each year along Florida's coast, state and local officials, along with Audubon volunteers and staff, identify and cordon off beach nesting sites to prevent human disturbance which threatens the nesting success of many species of birds including some of Florida's rarest and most charismatic species. "Chicks on beaches are quite vulnerable to disturbance - they need to be protected constantly by their parents,” said Eric Draper, Audubon of Florida Executive Director.