JUNO BEACH, Fla. — After months of controversy, resignations and tank water issues, turtles and hatchlings are once again back at Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
Coral is a young, green sea turtle currently under the care of staff at the center. The sea turtle was found near Fort Pierce about a week ago. Staff said she had buoyancy issues and was unable to dive down. Now, similar to the marine center, Coral is on the road to recovery.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center was forced to stop taking in turtles earlier this year because of water quality issues, specifically a pumping system that brings in water without enough salt. Then, a couple months later, a mass staff resignation began.
New CEO Andy Dehart said they are back on track.
“We came in with some challenges," he said. "We're really focused on three big things: water, staffing and getting turtles back into the facility."
Dehart said they've invested millions of dollars to make sure the water coming into the tanks is not an issue. He said the saline imbalances, which are what initially caused them to shut down, started after a beach re-nourishment at Juno Beach. Dehart said the saline levels of the water they were pumping in were fluctuating too much.
He said they now have an entirely new system.
"We're storing salt water. Water comes in, we can adjust that salinity up and down based on our preferences and based on the tolerances of the system," said Dehart.