Dr. Moby Solangi, executive director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) in Gulfport, Mississippi, was featured in our October issue as one of five standout Gulf citizens who pioneered cleanup efforts for the oil spill disaster. Read below how his institure is doing now:
"Things really seem to be getting back to normal. We’re seeing fewer strandings in our area, and that includes Mississippi and Alabama. At the end of August, fisheries in Mississippi were re-opened and seafood was declared safe by NOAA, the FDA, the MS Dept. of Marine Resources, and the MS Dept. of Environmental Quality. With Mississippi waters deemed safe, we felt that it was the right time to allow some of the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that have been in rehabilitation at IMMS return home to their natural environment.
Mississippi’s First Lady, Marsha Barbour joined myself, Dr. Bill Walker from the MS Dept. of Marine Resources, and Trudy Fisher from MS Dept. of Environmental Quality at IMMS for the release of four of the turtles that had received a clean bill of health from our veterinarian. These were turtles that had been caught by local fishermen. Some of the animals had additional health problems as well. When the turtles were released everyone on the boat clapped and cheered. It was really a great moment for all of us.
We still have around 15 sea turtles in rehabilitation at IMMS and usually receive between 1 and 4 new turtles each week. We are looking forward to releasing those animals as well."
To see more of our coastal heroes, click here.