C.A.R.E. Center at the Gulfarium
1010 Miracle Strip Parkway
Fort Walton Beach
With a mission to act as a beacon for coastal conservation through marine animal rescue and rehabilitation, encouraging awareness with public education and opportunities for active participation, it's no wonder we have chosen the C.A.R.E. Center at Gulfarium to be one of our Coolest on the Coast picks this year! The staff who work tirelessly here, are true heroes to our coast.
Time and time again over the years we have witnessed the C.A.R.E. Centers amazing efforts to rehabilitate and release various species of sea turtles brought to them or rescued from debilitating situations. From the large Leatherbacks coming in at over 600 pounds to the smaller Green Turtles, we are so fortunate to have a facility like the Gulfarium here On the Coast! The hundreds of people who gather for a turtle release back to the Gulf are always eager to learn and understand the balance we humans play with nature. It's just so exciting and such a great opportunity for the public to learn about the C.A.R.E. Center.
So what do you do if you find a stranded animal? Well, you call 1-888-404-3922 and observe the turtle at a distance until help arrives. If you try and help and push it back into the water, it might restrand and die so it's best to sit tight with your new found friend and observe. Here's a few more tips while visiting our coast and what you can do to help the sea turtles out. First, if you've been enjoying our beach, when leaving, make sure you fill in ALL the holes you've dug up and flatten those sandcastles and sculptures. This gives a clear path for the female sea turtles who are nesting and those cute little hatchlings. Also keep the exterior lights off of your homes and avoid using flashlights, fireworks and bonfires from May through October. Turtles use the moonlight to help navigate and those manmade light can be confusing to them. So be a good neighbor to our sea life and do your part to help them survive.
Cool Factors: Saving wildlife, educating the public on our sea-life