In and around Southern California’s San Gabriel River near Long Beach is a local population of Pacific green sea turtles at the tip of its northernmost range. Considered threatened, this local population has been recovering thanks to efforts from government and nonprofit organizations, such as the Aquarium of the Pacific. Working to help this resident population thrive, the Aquarium conducts a sea turtle monitoring program and provides any necessary treatment and rehabilitation of injured turtles, with veterinary care at the Aquarium.
Aquarium community scientists conduct monthly sea turtle counts at the San Gabriel River, collecting data that provides a baseline index of sighting locations—data that scientists and researchers use to help make conservation decisions about this resident population of threatened sea turtles. When a sea turtle is found injured or stranded, the Aquarium provides a veterinary assessment and rehabilitation for eventual release. Most commonly treated is the green sea turtle, though the team has also treated loggerhead and olive Ridley sea turtles, receiving as many as ten sea turtles per year needing medical care.
Join Cassandra Davis, Dr. Lance Adams, and Nate Jaros, of the Aquarium of the Pacific, for a fascinating multimedia look at Southern California’s urban population of threatened sea turtles and efforts to conserve them. The Aquarium of the Pacific, the nation’s fourth most attended aquarium, is currently home to two olive Ridley sea turtles, Theo and Lou, residents since 1998, and Copper, the Aquarium’s green sea turtle.