Clearwater Marine Aquarium Has New Rescues

We welcome visitors to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to learn about the aquarium’s mission to preserve the environment and its marine life, CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, and more. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff and volunteers work each day to rescue marine life and provide the most advanced and effective care to maximize the opportunity to return sick or injured animals to their homes. Recently, six sea turtles were fortunate enough to return to the ocean after rehab at CMA, once being cleared by the Fish & Wildlife Commission for release.



Challah is a juvenile, green sea turtle who was washed ashore December 4th on Redington Shores with predation injuries to their carapace and plastron likely from a shark. Challah overall had a good body condition and no other abnormalities. Initial diagnostics thankfully did not show obvious internal damage. Challah’s time in rehab was lengthy due to the wound care needed for their injuries. This wound care included bandage changes with routine debridement and cold laser therapy. Now that Challah’s injuries have healed, they are ready to return back home! Challah has been cleared for release by our staff veterinarian and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.



Gypsum is a subadult, green sea turtle who was found lethargic near south Anclote on February 7th. Gypsum has a large amount of epibiota (algae and barnacles) on their carapace and head, which means they have been debilitated for quite some time. Gypsum is also missing its right front flipper, but it is completely healed and unrelated to its cause for stranding. Gypsum’s initial diagnostics revealed concerning gastrointestinal abnormalities that could be caused by a foreign body ingestion. With the aid of gastrointestinal motility medications, Gypsum successfully passed 230 cm of monofilament on its own on March 8th! Gypsum then continued to have normal defecations without the assistance of medications, and the abnormalities seen initially have resolved! Gypsum is now healthy and has been cleared for release by our staff veterinarian and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission!

Beryl & Quartz

Beryl and Quartz are both juvenile green sea turtles that are stranded on the East Coast of Florida. Beryl washed ashore in Flagler County on January 24, 2024, and Quartz washed ashore in Daytona Beach on March 24, 2024. Both of these turtles were transferred to CMA due to space limitations at other facilities due to a high number of strandings in their areas. Both turtles appeared in good body condition upon arrival and were showing normal behavior in water. Beryl had minor fibropapilloma tumors but due to small size surgery was not required! After a short course of medications and a healthy diet, both turtles are ready to return back home! Beryl and Quartz have both been cleared by our staff veterinarian and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission! Wish them well!

Neptunite and Sapphire

Neptunite and Sapphire are juvenile green sea turtles who were found washed ashore in Volusia county (Neptunite) and St. John’s County (Sapphire) in March. Neptunite and Sapphire were transferred to CMA in March from Volusia County Marine Science as they had space limitations. Neptunite and Sapphire were lethargic, and thin, had a moderate load of epibiota present on their carapace, and a minor case of fibropapilloma tumors. After a couple of months in rehab at CMA, they have gained weight and are now healthy! Neptunite and Sapphire have been cleared for release by our staff veterinarian and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They will be released back on the east coast of Florida.

Marine Life Speaker Series


We are excited to welcome Superheroes of Manatee Conservation, Dr. James “Buddy” Powell and Jamal Galves, as we explore the ongoing efforts and challenges of protecting these gentle giants. Dr. Powell, one of the world’s leading experts on manatees, will share stories from a lifetime of manatee research, including introducing Jacques Cousteau to the manatees in Crystal River when he was just a teenager.

Jamal Galves was just a young boy in Belize when he met Dr. Powell; he will reminisce about that fateful day, how it led to his passion to protect manatees, and his extraordinary career as the “Manatee Man.”

These two superheroes have worked to protect manatees in the U.S. Caribbean, Central America, and throughout their range; we are excited to bring these efforts to Clearwater Marine Aquarium in our new Manatee Rehabilitation Center. We will hear about this new facility, rehabilitation efforts, and the manatee in our care from CMA’s Manatee Manager, Tanya Ward.

Did You Hear The News?


A new river otter is joining the CMA family! Named Opie, this juvenile male was brought to CMA following a dog attack that injured his eye. Opie has since been deemed non-releasable as he has been habituated by humans and no longer has the instincts necessary to survive in the wild. Following his quarantine period, Opie will be meeting our resident river otters, Walle and Boomer. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates on when you can see Opie at Otter Oasis!

Protect a Sea Turtle Nest with a Personalized Plaque This Sea Turtle Season!


The plaque with your personalized message will be placed at one of our nests for the duration of the 2024 season. In addition to photos of your plaque, you will also receive monthly updates on the nesting season from our nesting team, and, at the end of the season, you will receive an update on your nest as well as your personalized plaque to keep!

Summer Camp Registration is Open!


Escape the cold and prepare for a summer of fun at CMA summer Marine Science Camps! From snorkeling to kayaking, hands-on activities, time with rescued animals, and more, there’s something for every budding marine scientist to experience this summer! Marine Science Camps are available for all students from kindergarten through high school.
These camps will fill up quickly, pick out your favorites now!

Did You Hear the News?


Clearwater Marine Aquarium recently launched Rising Tides: Safeguarding Marine Life for the Future. Over the next six years, CMA will undergo a dynamic facility revitalization that will bring new animals, new habitats, and new conservation efforts to our facility and beyond! Learn more about this campaign here.

Manatee Rehab Center Opening Spring 2024!



Clearwater Marine Aquarium recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Manatee Rehabilitation Center. This center will allow CMA to accept manatees recovering from the effects of food and habitat loss, red tide exposure, boat strike wounds, cold stress, and more. Conservation of this species is vital as manatees are vulnerable to extinction and serve an important role in maintaining the health of their ecosystems. This new center will offer manatee rehabilitation and care while giving guests the opportunity to learn more about the species and view stable rehabilitated manatees as they prepare to be released back into the wild.

Funding for this project is made possible by the State of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Duke Energy Foundation, John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program, and private donors.

Upcoming Events & Programs

May 25: High School Career Exploration
May 25: Junior Career Quest
May 30-July 25: Free Parent Workshop Series
June 6: Echoes of the Ocean: Superheroes of Manatee Conservation