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Riverhead Foundation For Marine Research & Preservation Announces Name Change and Rebranding Initiative

Riverhead Foundation For Marine Research & Preservation Announces Name Change and Rebranding Initiative

Revamped mission and name change will better reflect conservation needs of Greater Atlantic Region in an effort to conserve sea turtle populations.

Today, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation (RFMRP) announced that it is shifting the focus of its mission by changing its name to the New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC). This name change will be effective and implemented immediately throughout all aspects of the organization throughout 2019. The name change and revamped mission aims to better reflect the needs of the Greater Atlantic Region, as NYMRC remains the sole facility in New York State authorized by the state and federal government to rehabilitate seals and sea turtles rescued from New York waters.

Founded in 1996, NYMRC is a non-profit organization that is reliant on public donations in order to support various conservation efforts such as response and rehabilitation of marine mammals and sea turtles as well as community outreach/educational programs. Over the last 23 years, the NYMRC team has responded to more than 5,000 stranded seals, sea turtles, and cetaceans while successfully rehabilitating and releasing more than 1,000 marine species.

While seal populations in the northeast Atlantic have been more stable, due in part to the team’s ongoing conservation efforts, the case is not the same for other marine animals such as sea turtles. Four species of sea turtle known to inhabit New York waters are all listed as either threatened or endangered and in need of critical support, according to a press release from NYMRC. This is caused by several environmental factors, such as entanglement, coastal development, plastic or other marine debris, climate change, ocean pollution, human consumption, and illegal trade.

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NYMRC plans to shift its focus to allocating its resources to better support the greater needs of these threatened and endangered sea turtle populations. To achieve its conservation goals, NYMRC needs financial and community support.

Besides the name change, “we do intend to continue responding to sick and injured seals and cetaceans as feasible and necessary and provide rehabilitation to those seals in need while increasing our support and capacity for endangered sea turtles," said Charles Bowman, President of NYMRC Board of Directors. "We are also planning to revitalize our rescue center tanks and equipment and to make renovations that will allow greater public viewing of the rescue center activities.” 

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Main Image: Sea turtle release. Credit to New York Marine Rescue Center.