Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station
Located in Marineland, Florida, Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station (GACFS) was established in 2008 as part of Georgia Aquarium’s ongoing research and conservation efforts through our 4R Program. The field station is dedicated to furthering our understanding of dolphins, marine mammals and aquatic species found along our coast through the 4Rs: Rescue, Research, Rehabilitation and Responsibility.
The facility is equipped to conduct field studies, respond to stranding events, and transport animals in need to neighboring rehabilitation facilities.
Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station is an active member of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network and is currently authorized to respond to marine mammal strandings in Flagler County, Florida. As a member of the South East Region, GACFS also plays a supporting role in stranding and rescue events with neighboring network participants.
GACFS is also able to assist in larger strandings, like the cold stunned turtles in February of 2009 along the entire east coast. An estimated 5,000 sea turtles were stranded along the Atlantic coast in February 2010, 4,500 in Florida alone, as temperatures dropped, in some places reaching a frigid 50 degrees. With the help of GACFS, Georgia Aquarium was able to respond to an emergency call and rescue five stranded loggerhead sea turtles.
GACFS research programs help our veterinary services team better understand why marine mammals strand and on a larger scale the health of oceans worldwide. Current GACFS research programs are documenting the cause of marine mammal stranding and the identification of emerging diseases in these species.
Georgia Aquarium’s GACFS is committed to the rescue of stranded animals. Our staff is fully equipped to respond to stranding events and is able to assist other facilities with the transportation and rehabilitation of dolphins and small whales.
Georgia Aquarium’s conservation programs actively participate in conservation outreach programs all around the world including Mexico, Africa, Coastal Georgia, Florida, South Pacific and at Colombian and Brazilian Amazon sites. Through these outreach programs we are able to provide veterinary care and research expertise for aquatic mammal species, while training local caregivers to provide future care. Presently, conservation outreach programs involving manatees are ongoing in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Gabon (West Africa) and Brazil.
You can help support our efforts at the Conservation Field Station, and abroad, by supporting our 4R Program.