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DNR Reminds Marylanders To Report Sightings Of Stranded Sea Turtles And Mammals

Annapolis, Md. (June 28, 2011) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds boaters and beach goers to keep their eyes open for sea turtles and marine mammals while enjoying the outdoors this summer.

“If you see an animal that is dead, visibly injured, entangled or appears to be in need of help, call the hotline immediately,” said Jamie Testa coordinator of DNR’s Sea Turtle & Marine Mammal Stranding Program. “If you would like to report a healthy animal or group of animals you may also call the hotline.”

This time of year residents on the water are likely to see bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles and maybe even a manatee. Most animals seen in Maryland waters are free swimming, naturally feeding and healthy. Spectators can watch and enjoy the animals, but at a distance.

According to the Endangered Species Act & the Marine Mammal Protection Act, humans should stay at least 150 feet away from the animals to keep from disturbing their normal activity. Boaters should turn off their engines if a sea turtle or dolphin swims near the boat.

Citizens can report sightings or stranded sea turtles or marine mammals by calling the 1-800-628-9944. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. DNR reminds the public not to touch the remains of dead sea turtles or mammals. Animals can transfer diseases to humans and their pets.

The Sea Turtle & Marine Mammal Stranding Program has been responding to stranded marine animals for the past 20 years. DNR works with the Marine Animal Rescue Program at The National Aquarium as well as numerous other organizations throughout the State to aid in the recovery of, and response to, stranded marine animals.

   June 29, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at