Location: Simons IMAX Theatre

Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction

A film followed by a panel discussion

Film by Michele Gomes and Jennifer Ting followed by panel discussion with:

  • Dr. Charles Innis, Director of Animal Health, New England Aquarium
  • Constance Merigo, Marine Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Manager, New England Aquarium
  • Bob Prescott, Sanctuary Director of Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, and NOAA’s Mass. (Quincy south) Sea Turtle Stranding Coordinator 
  • Kate Sampson, Sea Turtle Stranding Coordinator, NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region (VA through ME)

Late each autumn, hundreds of sea turtles strand on Cape Cod due to hypothermia. For more than 25 years, the New England Aquarium and the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary have worked together to rescue, rehabilitate, and release thousands of these turtles, mostly Kemp ridleys. Over the last decade, the number of stranded turtles has steadily increased, but the late autumn of 2014 saw an unprecedented event as more than 1,200 cold-stunned sea turtles washed ashore. This massive wildlife emergency marshaled an inspiring response that reached from individuals to the federal government.

Fortunately, two independent filmmakers from Seattle, Michele Gomes and Jenny Ting, were on hand to document this phenomenon. They also traveled to Mexico and Texas to tell the larger natural history story of the world’s most endangered sea turtle and how humans pushed a healthy population to the precipice of extinction and are now slowly helping it to recover. Please join Michele and Jenny to view their film, “Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction,” with a panel discussion immediately following.