The Think Tank: Dory’s Weekly Blog for NMLC


How time flies when you’re helping turtles! It’s difficult for me to believe that it’s already mid-July, and yet I feel that in the 1 1/2 months I’ve been here, I feel we’ve accomplished a lot.

The center is now bustling with activity, as people bring their kids in to the Discovery Center for Fins and Flippers on Tuesdays and Wednesday and Marine Animal Medical Mystery Wednesdays. The interns and I had a lot of fun with turtle week, and we’ve been getting pretty creative and involved in planning the crafts each week. I feel as if I get as excited about some of the crafts as much as the kids do! Additionally, we have a good number of volunteers who have just started, and who are making the craft prep workload much lighter for us interns. Thanks guys!

Kids Working on Thermometer Turtles
Kids Working on Thermometer Turtles

We have also been busy getting ready for the numerous festivals that take place in July. This past weekend, the interns divided up to attend two festivals; the Sandwich Street Fair and the Swan Festival in Wareham. The Barnstable County Fair, the biggest event of the summer, should be a fantastic time! Starting nest weekend, we will have a table set up in the big tent from 12-10pm until Tuesday. In additional to getting a lovely marine animal tattoo (fake, of course!) and getting to see some of the cool whale specimens at our table, come enjoy the music, food, and (best of all) the RIDES! Can you tell I’m excited?! It will be a great time for all.


In heavier news, it is bothersome to me that the oil in the Gulf spill has yet to be capped, and that the test of a new method if being delayed for another day. Why must we keep waiting? Thousands upon thousands of gallons of oil is still escaping everyday, harming our ecosystems… in my opinion we are not moving fast enough. I also just recently read an Associated Press article about how the first Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle eggs evacuated from the Gulf were released in the Atlantic. The article stated:

“…the newborn Kemp’s ridley sea turtles did well after their release.

About 700 sea turtle nests — each containing about 100 eggs — are being trucked from oiled shores along the Gulf to Cape Canaveral, where they’re kept at a climate-controlled facility. The turtles are being released into the Atlantic as they hatch.

Scientists feared that a generation of the imperiled species would die if they hatched and swam into the oil.”

It is comforting to know that so many turtles were saved, but one wonders what the implications may be for future generations of turtles, which have always nested on the same beach, are relocated to a different environment. It seems only time will tell.

The bone loss is obvious from Patty's shell

In turtle news at NMLC, Patty’s shell is slowly re-growing! Yesterday, Roger’s removed a good deal of dead tissue, and underneath was a dark pigment of shell starting to return. This is very exciting news, and though Patty’s shell now looks very pink and raw, it is nice to know she’s on the rebound. Catch 22 is as feisty as ever, and the interns seem to enjoy his natural sunlight basking treatment (AKA tanning time) as much as he does.

Summer is in full swing at NMLC, but I’ll be sure to send another update soon!



Posted by Dory E.
Dory is a Summer, 201o Intern at the National Marine Life Center. She is a sophomore at the University of Tampa majoring in Marine Science and Biology.