We had the chance to go behind the scenes at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead. We learned how they rescue and rehabilitate sea animals at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. It was very interesting. We learned they rescue sea turtles, seals, dolphins, porpoises and whales. It is the only foundation like this in New York.
We were welcomed by Gretchen Kowalik, one of the biologists, who gave us some background information about Atlantis. We also got a chance to meet and interview foundation director and senior biologist Robert DiGiovanni Jr.
Robert told us about the foundation’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts. We also found out how we can help. We learned that around Long Island we can see many kinds of sea turtles, including green, Kemp’s ridley, leatherback and loggerhead, as well as harbor, harp, hooded and gray seals. We even got to feed some rescued cold-stunned sea turtles!
There are lots of tanks in the back of Atlantis where they help care for sick and injured animals. When you’re 18, you can volunteer in the facility, but for now, we can help by spreading the word. You can also help the foundation by adopting an animal.
Please remember: Don’t try to assist an injured marine mammal! Call the 24-hour hotline at 631-369-9829.