Grant: 07-016C
Project Title: Request for Supplies, Maintenance, Equipment and Brochures
Project Manager: Richie Moretti
Organization: Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project (The Turtle Hospital) (Non-Profit Organization)
Grant Amount: $11,600.41
Completion Date: 2008-06-30

Summary: The Turtle Hospital receives between 50 to 70 sick and injured sea turtles each year that require medical care. Each turtle that comes in receives a complete blood chemistry profile initially and averages 10 profiles through their stay at the hospital. The Turtle Hospital uses an Idexx VetTest and VetLyte Analyzer to analyze the blood which is costly to run with the number of turtles and price of slides. The Turtle Hospital will continue running its own blood and not rely on out of state facilities to analyze it. The Turtle Hospital also manages each sea turtle's diet by a specific weight of food which is fed to each individual turtle. This is done by weighing out food on scales for each turtle. The Hospital will acquire hardy waterproof gram scales which can take the daily use of weighing out squid and shrimp and can get wet. The Turtle Hospital supports its educational program with brochures previously funded by the Sea Turtle License Plate Grants Program. The brochures help in educating the general public and local school children regarding sea turtles, their plights and the work The Turtle Hospital does to help the sea turtles. The Turtle Hospital will print more brochures based on the sample provided in the proposal excluding the information about Guided Tours of the facility.

Results: The Turtle Hospital ordered, received, and distributed 10,000 educational brochures within the project timeline. These brochures raise awareness of sea turtles and the threats they face, as well as what we can do as individuals to help conserve sea turtles. The Turtle Hospital prides itself on providing the best possible veterinary care for sick and injured sea turtles throughout the Florida Keys. To accomplish this, blood chemistry parameters must be constantly evaluated to assess the overall health of an individual animal. This is accomplished with Idexx VetTest and VetLyte machines. The equipment/supplies/maintenance equipment allows hospital staff to closely monitor these parameters and determine the best treatment method for the turtle. By monitoring the blood chemistry "in house", staff is able to get faster and more reliable results than sending blood work out of state for analysis. Waterproof scales have allowed staff members at The Turtle Hospital to accurately monitor nutritional consumption. Many species of sea turtle require a very strict diet and these scales allow staff to determine optimal food intake to allow for recovery. (Author: Richie Moretti)