The new STAR Center (Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation) opened its doors today (May 24) to the general public. The new facility more than triples the amount of space to care for sick and injured sea turtles.

Still a work in progress, the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center (STAR) opened its doors today, Saturday, May 24. Visitors can now see holding tanks and other infrastructure needed to help these endangered creatures recover. There will not be any sea turtles just yet, but lots of great information provided by educators, Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) and Aquarium volunteers.

Volunteers and staff will use this 3000 square-foot facility to provide medical care to sick and injured sea turtles while exploring new techniques that support our knowledge of sea turtle health, anatomy, and physiology.

Working side-by-side with our partner, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island (NCARI), our plan is to offer visitors an up-close experience with sea turtles. By providing a behind-the-scenes look at sea turtle care and rehabilitation, we hope to ensure a better understanding of their importance to the ocean’s ecosystem and support a successful recovery plan for sea turtles worldwide.

The facility will feature a viewing area, giving aquarium visitors the opportunity to observe sea turtle rehabilitation in progress and learn about the processes and dedicated individuals that help heal and reintroduce these gentle animals back to the ocean. Eight recovery tanks can be subdivided, which more than triples the current recovery space. A treatment room with a viewing window provides a glimpse into procedures which focus on an individual animal.

The STAR Center will offer visitors an inside look as well as support the mission to inspire, appreciate, and conserve our aquatic environment! In case you missed the first glance today, we hope you will come visit us again soon as we turn a new page in the efforts of many to save an endangered species, sea turtles!