The first annual Get Into Your Sanctuary Day was held June 27,2015. Since it's not easy to "Get Into" Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, we hosted our event in the Aquarium at Moody Gardens where we invited guests to pose in front of a sanctuary mural and interact with the sanctuary's Reef on the Road traveling exhibit.
The same day, R/V MANTA took a quick trip offshore to release some rehabilitated Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles for NOAA Fisheries and test out the new SCS flow-through water analysis equipment. NOTE: All sea turtle activities were conducted under appropriate permits.
Brett Mayberry and Emma Hickerson release one of the Kemp's Ridleys from the dive platform of R/V MANTA. The turtles were released about 20 miles offshore, beyond the shipping lanes, in about 60 feet of water.(Image: TAMUG/Lindsay Martin)
An underwater view of a Kemp's Ridley moments after release about 20 miles offshore. (Image: TAMUG/Lindsay Martin)
This short day trip provided an opportunity for a few volunteers and guests to join our staff aboard R/V MANTA and experience some of the important work NOAA is doing in the Gulf of Mexico. Most of our work involves multiple days at sea, so living space is limited to essential staff and crew only.(Image: FGBNMS/Hickerson)
Turtle Staff: Susan Lewis (left) is a volunteer at the NOAA Sea Turtle facility in Galveston. Dr. Joe Flanagan (center) is the veterinarian for the NOAA sea turtles. Joanie Steinhaus (right) is the Associate Campaign Director, Gulf Coast for Turtle Island Restoration Network.
Metal tags attached to the sea turtles' flippers help us identify them if they are encountered again. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)
Susan Lewis carries one of the sea turtles to the back of the boat for another release. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)