12/10/14 5:00pm
12/10/2014 5:00 PM
Daniella Ferina, Riverhead Foundation staff biologist, administering warmed IV fluids Wednesday morning to a sea turtle. (Credit: Riverhead Foundation)

Daniella Ferina, Riverhead Foundation staff biologist, administering warmed IV fluids Wednesday morning to a sea turtle. (Credit: Riverhead Foundation)

After rescuing two endangered sea turtles in just 24 hours, biologists with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation are asking residents to keep an eye out for cold-stunned sea turtles following Tuesday’s nor’easter.

High tides along the north shore after 3 p.m today could leave turtles stranded on north facing beaches, exposing them to frigid water and air temperatures, according to the organization.

(more…)

08/29/13 7:00pm
08/29/2013 7:00 PM
RIVERHEAD FOUNDATION COURTESY PHOTO | Roxanne, a Risso's dolphin was released Wednesday morning.

RIVERHEAD FOUNDATION COURTESY PHOTO | Roxanne, a Risso’s dolphin was released Wednesday morning.

Roxanne, the 700-pound Risso’s dolphin found marooned on a Jones Beach Island sandbar, is swimming freely once again after being released Wednesday by her caretakers from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research.

Riverhead Foundation officials were seeking help raising funds needed for her release from rehabilitation. In all, about $35,000 was needed to completely fund her rehabilitation and release, according to a foundation spokeswoman.

The 9-foot dolphin was transported by truck to the Shinnecock Commercial Dock in Hampton Bays about 8:30 a.m., where she was loaded onto Stony Brook University’s boat, Sea Wolf.

The Sea Wolf took her 20 miles offshore, where she was released into ocean waters, according to a release.

It took an 18-member team, a crane, a transport truck and the Sea Wolf to carry her back into the ocean, according to the non-profit’s officials.

She was fitted with a satellite tracking device. Her travels can soon be tracked on the foundations webpage.

cmiller@timesreview.com

 

08/21/13 8:00am
08/21/2013 8:00 AM
Riverhead Foundation Courtesy Photo | Roxanne and foundation volunteers during a physical at the Riverhead aquarium.

RIVERHEAD FOUNDATION COURTESY PHOTO | Roxanne and foundation volunteers during a physical.

A campaign to raise funds for the release of the Riverhead Foundation’s newest patient is making waves.

Roxanne, an adult Risso’s dolphin was rescued just south of Oak Beach on Jones Beach Island in Babylon June 6. The U.S. Coast Guard found her struggling from dehydration and gastric bleeding on a sand bar, according to officials from the non-profit.

Foundation volunteers transported Roxanne on a stretcher, loading the 9-foot, 600-pound dolphin into the back of a vehicle and brought her to her current home in Riverhead.

“Roxanne is now healthy and thriving,” according to the press release. “She eats over 75 pounds of squid each day, and interacts with staff along with her enrichment devices.”

Roxanne will need an 18 member team, a crane, a transport truck and a vessel to carry her back into ocean waters. She will also be fitted with a satellite tracking device in order to provide data on how she behaves after her release.

In all, about $35,000 is needed to completely fund her rehabilitation and release, according to a foundation spokeswoman.

Her story aired last Thursday night on WABC’s Channel 7 Eyewitness News, generating more than $4,500 in donations in the 24 hours following the broadcast.

The network included the hashtag #FreeRoxanne, which is now being used to spread Roxanne’s story on Facebook and Twitter.

More information about Roxanne can be found on her donation page, and a real-time view of her can be seen on the foundation’s website.

Foundation officials said they hope to release Roxanne in early September.

Riverhead Foundation Courtesy Photo | Roxanne in her tank at the Riverhead Aquarium.

RIVERHEAD FOUNDATION COURTESY PHOTO | Roxanne in her tank at the Riverhead Foundation.

08/09/13 5:00pm
08/09/2013 5:00 PM
COURTESY | Anchor, a Loggerhead sea turtle makes his way home to bay waters.

COURTESY | Anchor, a Loggerhead sea turtle making his way home to bay waters on Tuesday.

Eight endangered sea turtles waddled their way back into bay waters Tuesday, a record for the number turtles released in one day by caretakers at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

The turtles were released into Hampton Bays waters at two separate times.

Seven Kemp’s Ridley turtles were released following rehabilitation after they were discovered cold stunned, or hypothermic, this winter.

COURTESY | Two of the Kemp's Ridleys sea turtles on their way home.

COURTESY | Two of the Kemp’s Ridleys sea turtles on their way home.

Kemp’s Ridleys are considered the smallest marine turtle in the world, growing between 24 and 28 inches long and weighing up to 100 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Foundation also released a loggerhead sea turtle named Anchor that had been in rehabilitation since last August after swallowing a fish hook.

He was outfitted with a tracing device, so viewers can track his travels on the foundation’s website.

Loggerheads grow significantly larger than Kem’s Ridleys, to 3 feet in length and weighting up to 250 pounds, according to the NOAA.

According to the Foundation, the 2012-2013 winter season brought and “unprecedented number” of turtles to the Northeast, with more than 100 turtles needing rehabilitation from Virginia to Maine.

A total amount of rescues for the Riverhead Foundation group was not immediately available.

Because sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, they depend on external sources of heat to stay warm. During the winter’s cold temperatures, they must migrate to warmer waters.

COURTESY | A group of supporters look on as Anchor makes his way to the bay.

COURTESY | A group of supporters looked on as Anchor made his way to the bay.

04/17/13 6:00pm
04/17/2013 6:00 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Noodle, a 2-year-old harbor porpoise, was successfully rehabilitated by the Riverhead Foundation after being found in a marsh in Brunswick, Maine by children on a school field trip in October.

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is planning the release of its third successfully rehabilitated porpoise, a small toothed whale.

Noodle, the 2-year-old harbor porpoise, was found in a marsh in Brunswick Maine by children on a school field trip in October 2012, about a week before Hurricane Sandy knocked the East Coast.

Marine Mammals of Maine responded to the marooned porpoise, helping transport it to the University of New England Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center in Portland where it was stabilized.

The young male porpoise was unable to float by itself during the first 24-hours of its rescue, so researchers used foam noodles to build a makeshift flotation device to keep him afloat. The modified floaties earned him the name, Noodle.

“His only chance was to get transferred to us,” said Julika Wocial, rescue program supervisor for the Riverhead Foundation, which plans to release Noodle Sunday.

The Riverhead nonprofit is home to the only long-term rehabilitation tank large enough for Noodle in the region.

“It’s like having one hospital bed from Virginia to Maine,” said Robert DiGiovanni Jr., executive director and senior biologist for the foundation.

With the help of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Noodle took a six-hour-long trip from Portland to Riverhead, cradled in a stretcher and soft foam to keep him comfortable. The Cross Sound Ferry let him across free of charge, and Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut stayed on standby in case anything went wrong.

“His story was gratifying in that there were three other organizations involved in his rescue,” Mr. DiGiovanni said. “It is kind of rare that we get a porpoise that is able to be rehabilitated.”

Usually this type of marine animal is found in grave condition, unable to be saved, he said.

Since the foundations’ start in 1980, then known as Okeanos Ocean Research Foundation, it has rescued more than 4,300 marine animals. They currently rehabilitate about 200 animals a year on average.

The foundation is the only animal rescue foundation in the state, and receives about 20 phone calls of marine animal sightings a day during the high season.

Rehabilitating the animals costs upward of $10,000 for seals, $15,000 for sea turtles, and $80,000 for dolphins and porpoises, like Noodle.

“We usually work on a deficit,” Mr. DiGiovanni said.

The foundation also works on a marine animal survey, doing aerial studies to monitor and count marine species in the area.

“People may not realize, but there have been sightings of humpback whales within miles of our shores,” Ms. Wocial said. “We want people to report any and all sightings to us.”

cmiller@timesreview.com

@carriemiller01

01/26/13 2:00pm
01/26/2013 2:00 PM
RIVERHEAD FOUNDATION FOR MARINE RESEARCH AND PRESERVATION PHOTO  |  The dolphin washed ashore in Queens early Friday morning.

RIVERHEAD FOUNDATION FOR MARINE RESEARCH AND PRESERVATION PHOTO | The dolphin washed ashore in Queens early Friday morning.

A dolphin that washed ashore in Queens yesterday afternoon died during a rescue attempt as members of the Riverhead Foundation  for Marine Research and Preservation raced to help.

The dolphin reportedly died as it was being transported into a tank to be taken back to the Riverhead Foundation.

Click here for a full story from the N.Y. Times.

11/13/12 7:52am
11/13/2012 7:52 AM

RIVERHEAD FOUNDATION COURTESY PHOTO | Rob DiGiovanni, executive director of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research, and a volunteer apply a satellite tag to a rehabilitated green sea turtle.

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation announced this week that cold stun season has officially begun for sea turtles on the East End.

The foundation is asking people to walk local beaches and report any sea turtles they spot, even if they appear to be dead, to (631) 369-9840. After 5 p.m. you can  report any found turtles on the foundation’s 24-hour hotline at (631) 369-9829.

Turtles are often found deposited along the high tide line and may be hard to see, especially if they are covered with seaweed or barnacles.

Friday afternoon, a cold stunned Atlantic Green Sea Turtle was found in Hampton Bays, but turtles can be found along all of the East End’s shores, even on the Sound side.

Click to read more about cold-stunned sea turtles

10/22/11 1:42pm
10/22/2011 1:42 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | They're off and running in the 14th annual 5K Run for the Ridley to benefit the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and Kemp's ridley sea turtles in downtown Riverhead Saturday morning.

The 14th annual 5K Run for the Ridley to benefit the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles was held in downtown Riverhead Saturday morning.

The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, one of the most endangered sea turtles in the world, is found right here on the shores of Long Island.

The Riverhead Foundation operates the New York State Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program. It is the only authorized organization of its kind in New York State. Trained staff and volunteers provide assistance and care to over 150 animals a year.

Some 313 runners preregistered for the race and many others came out because of the beautiful sunny weather and windless conditions.

Here are the top finishers and their times:

Men:
1st- Rick Trojanowski of Calverton, 16:43
2nd- Ryan Udvadia of Shoreham, 16:59
3rd- Anthony Galvan of Riverhead, 17:00

Women
1st- Taylor Mauarigoni of Riverhead, 18:40
2nd- Catherine Radzik of Mt. Sinai, 18:56
3rd- Mary Sullivan of East Quogue, 21:26

Age 9 and under:
1st- Christopher Schmidt of Jamesport, 26:38

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