There are many different groups around Florida and the Southeast United States that rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles and other sea life. One special group, the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, is a small lab in Panacea, Florida, that offers its services to injured and sick sea turtles. The lab was established in 1963, and is an independent organization providing marine life for research laboratories and schools. They study endangered species and participate in research projects in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Lab is open to the public and has many interactive opportunities, including “touch tanks”.
The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab uses a piece of equipment, called the Ozonator, to purify the water the lab pumps from the Gulf of Mexico to fill the tanks where the turtles and other marine life live at the lab. The problem is that the Ozonator is now over 30 years old, and can no longer be fixed. There are no replacements part available and the lab is out of options. Without a functioning Ozonator, the lab must purify the water using bleach and charcoal, which is a less than ideal solution, and does not provide the best water for the marine life.
The Lab needs our help. The sea turtles, horse-shoe crabs, urchins and other guests at the Lab need our help. The Marine Lab is a non-profit organization helping to protect our natural resources and learn from them. They need a new Ozonator.
Contribute today to the fundraising campaign for the new Ozonator at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab!
You can donate online through the Lab’s Tilt Campaign, or you can send your donation directly to the lab at:
Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, P. O. Box 237, Panacea, Florida, 32346.
The Lab is located at 222 Clark Drive in Panacea, Florida. Contact number: (850) 984-5297.
The Lab is currently rehabilitating a 2-year-old Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (named Spot) that was suffering from the flu. If you haven’t seen a Kemp’s Ridley before, they are a small, critically endangered sea turtle, and they are really cute! We saw our first one last summer while paddle boarding at St. George Island, Florida. They are the rarest of all the sea turtles with only about 1,000 nesting females left.
Please join us to help the Lab get a new Ozonator, and help make sure that the Lab is able to continue to provide rehabilitation services to sea turtles like Spot.
Hopefully we will see Spot back out in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, enjoying blue crabs and jellyfish, while the Lab guests enjoy a new Ozonator!