Rescue, Rehab, Release
Did you know that we have one of the finest marine wildlife rehabilitation and rescue centers in our area? The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is dedicated to preserving our beautiful ocean environment while being dedicated to helping marine animals who are ill or injured to rehab and get back to the business of being wild sea creatures.
Many local Clearwater residents, fishermen and park personnel find sick or injured wildlife and bring them to the Aquarium to be put on the road to recovery. The Aquarium has a fully staffed hospital dedicated to helping these animals heal and get released back into the wild. The animals under care are treated as individual beings and are loved by the staff, sometimes making it difficult to say goodbye when it’s time for them to rejoin their wild friends and family.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium Is A Wonderful Place Of Learning
The Aquarium also dedicates itself education. Teaching the importance of ecology, conservation and environmental stewardship to visitors helps spread the word about the important work being done by CMA and other similar Aquariums and Centers around the world. There are many camps offered at the CMA for kids. These offer opportunities for budding biologists to immerse themselves in ocean exploration and study.
The Clearwater Aquarium also dedicates itself to being a leader in ocean environment and marine mammal research. This research enables CMA to work closely with many partners to discover groundbreaking technology that can aid injured marine mammals, sometimes even leading to breakthroughs in helping us humans. The CMA was instrumental in developing the first prosthetic tail for injured dolphin Winter. The gel sleeve developed by CMA’s technicians is now being used regularly by many humans who are also fitted with prosthetics. Winter’s story was featured in the 2011 movie “Dolphins Tail” and the 2013 sequel “Dolphins Tail 2”. Both were filmed on-sight and featured the real-life animal characters in the leading roles. You can continue to follow the adventures of Winter and his marine mammal pals on his Facebook page.
The CMA also participates in many research studies and ocean surveys, keeping track of endangered marine life and wild populations. The knowledge gained from this research will help ensure that these amazing animals will be allowed to live and thrive in our ever-changing ocean environments.
What a great way to hide a bit of learning in your family beach vacation. Sign your kids up for a class or attend one of the Aquarium’s monthly speaker series. Visit the permanent exhibits and learn about rescue, rehabilitation and what you can do to help preserve our precious oceans. Take special boat tours and behind the scenes tours, getting up close to the wild, recuperating residents. You can even sign up for a course on becoming an animal trainers yourself! If you can’t make it fcor a visit right now, you can check out the animal action on the CMA webcams.