A 250-foot crane towers over the foundation of the new NMLC marine animal hospital near the Cape Cod railroad bridge in downtown Buzzards Bay. The crane churns to life, stretches across the work site, bends down to snatch 40-foot/1200-pound beams, and lifts them into place. Workmen bolt and weld joists, beams, girts and panels of this prefabricated steel jigsaw puzzle into a life-saving marine hospital that restores life back to the ocean.
Like Phoenix, a marine animal hospital rises from the ashes of the old Grossman warehouse. Joists slip into place; panels span supports; and a 15,000 square foot miracle takes shape to transform Main Street, Buzzards Bay, with a dazzling wall of translucent light as a beacon to stranded, injured and ailing marine animals.
More than 100,000 gallons of natural salt water pumped from the tidal cleansed Cape Cod Canal will fill 14 pools and tanks equipped with state-of-the-art medical tools to rehabilitate sea turtles, seals, porpoises, dolphins and small whales. Located at the gateway to one of the most active stranding hotspots in the Americas, this new marine animal hospital will be able to accommodate up to 50 sea turtles, 12 seals, 4 dolphins and 2 pilot whales once fully built out. As many as 300 marine animals strand on average each year in the Cape Cod area. Flexibility of design will allow the hospital to reconfigure and deal with whatever mixture of stranded animals present themselves.