Thursday, July 1, 2010



Web panel on July 7 to feature updates on the oil spill and
Q and A session with Mystic Aquarium experts

MYSTIC, Conn. (July 1, 2010) – Since May, Sea Research Foundation has been working collaboratively with key institutions in the Gulf region to assist with oil spill efforts. On July 7, people around the world can get up-to-date information on the oil spill from Sea Research staff and ask them questions during a live web panel discussion from 6 to 7 p.m.

Accessible through, the roundtable will include Public Conservation Programs Manager MaryEllen Mateleska; Stranding Coordinator Janelle Schuh; and Staff Veterinarian and Director of Animal Care Dr. Allison Tuttle. Vice President of Education Kelly Matis will serve as moderator. The group will provide an overview of the oil spill and Sea Research Foundation's involvement both in Mystic and Louisiana , as well as show how oil affects various marine animals and coastal habitats. Viewers – which will include students at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country through Immersion Learning, Sea Research Foundation’s national education division – will have the opportunity to submit questions before and during the discussion.

Recently, two of the panelists – Mateleska and Dr. Tuttle – traveled to Louisiana to participate in the Consortium for Ocean Leadership on June 2 and 3. During the consortium, they joined approximately 200 scientists to hear what had been learned about the spill.

After the consortium, Dr. Tuttle traveled to New Orleans to assist the Audubon Nature Institute in rehabilitating oiled sea turtles. For three days, Dr. Tuttle helped stabilize approximately 30 turtles after the oil was removed, primarily monitoring blood parameters and food intake, administering fluids to keep them hydrated and helping flush out their gastrointestinal tracts. Many of these turtles were Kemp’s Ridley, a critically endangered species.

“We are committed to assisting with the Gulf situation in whatever way we can,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation. “Dr. Tuttle made direct contributions through her work, and Dr. Robert Ballard has been consulted regularly on efforts to cap the well. But whatever we are doing pales in comparison to the incredible efforts being undertaken by the Coast Guard and NOAA personnel, as well as our colleagues from Gulf Coast institutions who are on the scene daily. We remain ready to relieve and augment their efforts."

In addition, on June 15, President Barack Obama announced the appointment of Terry Garcia, Sea Research Foundation trustee and executive vice president for mission programs at National Geographic Society, to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission.

The bi-partisan commission, established by executive order, is tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent – and mitigate the impact of – future spills that result from offshore drilling. Former Governor of Florida and U.S. Senator Bob Graham and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency William Reilly serve as commission co-chairs.

"Sea Research Foundation and National Geographic Society are long-standing partners in ocean conservation issues,” said Dr. Coan. “Terry Garcia is uniquely qualified to serve on the president's commission and address issues pertaining to the Gulf oil spill. Prior to being appointed to National Geographic, he served as the deputy administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he did an outstanding job refocusing the agency on ocean issues.”

Information on the Gulf Coast , the effect of oil on marine animals and how people can help protect oceans is available at At Immersion Learning’s Web site ( and Facebook page, kids can find up-to-the-minute news coverage on the oil spill.

About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.

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