Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research plans to open a short-term sea turtle hospital on campus later this fall.
Due to the closing of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ longtime Galveston Laboratory sea turtle facility, the Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research has taken the lead for responding to stranded sea turtles on the upper Texas coast and will use the hospital to provide rehabilitation services to stranded, ill or injured sea turtles.
Construction is currently underway. A wetlands facility on campus is being retrofitted to act as the hospital location and will house a number of industrial turtle-sized tubs, along with the necessary water filtration and filling equipment. The room holding the animals will be kept at 85 degrees in order to facilitate the optimum environment to best help the cold-blooded reptiles rest and recuperate for as long as they need. In addition, the hospital anticipates being able to accommodate limited public visits.
Texas A&M-Galveston will be partnering with the Houston Zoo on rehabilitation efforts and veterinary needs for the hospital’s patients.