Sea Turtle Rehabilitation at the National Aquarium: The Conservation Impact from Massachusetts to Florida
All seven species of sea turtles are classified as either threatened or endangered, and several of these species are common, seasonal visitors to the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts during months when water temperatures are above 68 F. The National Aquarium has been rehabilitating sick and injured sea turtles for thirty years, but surprisingly the conservation impact of this program reaches far beyond the waters of Maryland. The average sea turtle patient at the National Aquarium will travel more than 1,400 miles during rehabilitation – from stranding location to release location. You’ll learn more about the complex, and highly collaborative process to conserve critically endangered sea turtles.
Guest Presenter: Caitlin Bovery, Rehabilitation Manager, National Aquarium Rescue Program
Thursday, September 22nd
Caitlin Bovery developed her passion for marine science at a young age growing up along the New Jersey coastline and visiting the barrier islands of the Carolinas with her family in the summers. After seeing a baby sea turtle crawl to sea at just 6 years old, she proudly told her parents she wanted to be a marine biologist. She began her career at The College of William & Mary studying blue crab and scallop fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biological & Environmental Sciences. From there, she pursued her dreams of becoming a marine biologist in various positions along the Gulf and Atlantic coast, studying everything from sea grass ecology to sea turtle nesting distributions, until ultimately earning a Master of Environmental Science degree from Florida Atlantic University using aerial surveys to study sea turtle migration patterns. Since then, Caitlin continued her career into the field of sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, FL, and joined the National Aquarium as the Rehabilitation Manager in January of 2022. Caitlin is dedicated to marine conservation and furthering the mission of the Aquarium to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.