Gulf World to release 20 cold-stunned turtles after rescue

Photo courtesy of Gulf World Marine Institute
Photo courtesy of Gulf World Marine Institute (WJXT)

PORT SAINT JOE, Fla – Gulf World Marine Institute is releasing 20 green sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico Monday at 11:00 a.m. The institute found the turtles disabled due to cold weather on January 22 and 23.

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Posted by Gulf World Marine Institute on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

During those dates, the Florida Panhandle experienced very low temperatures. This causes sea turtles to become cold-stunned (or shocked) by the frigid temperatures. It happens most in shallows bays and estuaries below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

A team with the United States Geological Survey searched Saint Joe Bay during the cold weather days, as the Bay tends to be a hotspot for these turtle strandings.

That’s where the 20 sea turtles were found. Rescuers brought the turtles to GWMI to warm up before being released out into the Gulf of Mexico.

The green sea turtles have been medically cleared by GWMI veterinary staff and by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The public is invited to attend their release.

The address is 6081 Cape San Blas Road, Port Saint Joe, Florida 32456