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 Turtles have room to heal thanks to BP grant

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justdhf
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PostSubject: Turtles have room to heal thanks to BP grant   Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:14 pm

PONCE INLET -- A week ago, four sea turtles at Volusia County's Marine Science Center had the tanks all to themselves. But, another eight turtles arrived after the latest bout of freezing cold temperatures and now the center staff is busy tube feeding the recent arrivals, giving them antibiotics and other medical assistance.

However, the center is far from full. And, thanks to more than $100,000 in grants this year from money set aside by British Petroleum after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the center already has an additional tank up and running and three more nearing completion.

The most recent grant also allowed the center to order new medical and feeding equipment, which will improve its ability to care for the hundreds of turtles treated there each year, said manager Michael Brothers.

In total, the oil company has distributed nearly $1 million to the Sea Turtle Conservancy for redistribution to rehabilitation facilities across the state, said David Godfrey, the conservancy's executive director. The money came from the sale of the oil captured in the cap placed over the Deep Water Horizon well.

The money has roughly doubled the capacity for sea turtle rehabilitation statewide, Godfrey said. Of 14 permitted facilities, 12 received grant money. Two -- Walt Disney World and Hubbs-Sea World -- declined the money.

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By DINAH VOYLES PULVER, Environment writer

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