150 sea turtle biologists and veterinarians from around the world gathered in Marathon, Florida Keys last weekend to participate in the Turtle Hospital’s Annual Sea Turtle Workshop. Fellow sea turtle enthusiasts came from Florida, Texas, the Carolinas and from as far away as Italy, the West Indies, and Trinidad. The weekend kicked off with a pizza social on the grounds of the Turtle Hospital Friday evening.
Reconnecting with colleagues, numerous sea turtle facilities, universities, and conservation groups were represented in a day long symposium at the Monroe County Government Center on Saturday. The day was filled with detailed presentations and discussions on sea turtle medicine, research, and conservation.
Brilliant conversation continued and new ideas were born well into Saturday night as the group enjoyed a buffet dinner and special presentation under big tents set up on the Gulf at the Turtle Hospital. The dinner was catered by Faro Blanco Lighthouse Restaurant and the Turtle Hospital’s board member and local attorney Richard Warner was Master of Ceremonies. Warner unveiled his entertaining documentary on the work the Turtle Hospital is doing with sea turtles in Cuba. Adrienne provided the music, her angelic voice setting a perfect mood. With 2016 being the Turtle Hospital’s 30th year, there was plenty to celebrate!
A successful conference wrapped up on Sunday. The final day of the workshop consisted of hands on labs at the Turtle Hospital. Dr. Terry Norton of Georgia Sea Turtle Center led a necropsy lab, Dr. Nicole Stacy of University of Florida ran a blood lab, and Dr. Doug Mader of the Turtle Hospital and Marathon Veterinary Hospital headed a laser lab. Those not participating in the hands on labs opted to attend an informative anatomy lecture offered by Dr. Jeanette Wyneken of Florida Atlantic University.
The 2016 Florida Key’s Sea Turtle Workshop was exceptional with record breaking attendance and high level caliber presentations and labs. The Turtle Hospital sends a special thanks to their partners in the community and the dedicated staff that helped to make this event possible.
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