The New Tybee Marine Science Center is Preparing to Open!
Thursday, February 18th – The Discovery Shop will open to the public on Thursday, February 18TH. Come on in! In addition to shopping, visitors can enjoy the views from both the amphitheater and Ship Watch Loft and watch the staff work on exhibits. Masks are required to enter. Shoppers will be allowed to shop in small groups socially distanced from other groups.
Thursday, March 25th – The East Gallery will be open for our visitors to experience.
Saturday, May 1st – The West Gallery and Open-Air Gallery will be open for our visitors to experience.
Beginning March 25th, our hours will be Thursday through Sunday, 10AM to 4PM.
Addy’s Adventure Has Begun!
Addy is our star loggerhead sea turtle who has grown by leaps and bounds over the last two years since she and five nestmates were saved from a trashcan in a bathtub in Admiral Inn on Tybee. The housekeeper knew just what to do by calling our staff at the Center. Since then, our husbandry staff have been trying to keep up with her ravenous appetite and they are doing a great job. Addy has grown to a whopping 35 pounds! Now that she is so big, she is outgrowing her 800-gallon tank and needs to make her way to her new 4600-gallon tank. And you can help her make that journey!
For every $10 donated, Addy will crawl one foot from her old tank at the Center on The Strand to her new Center at 37 Meddin Drive at the north end. Addy needs to crawl 2.7 miles or 14,256 feet! For every $100 donation, the lucky donor will receive a beautiful portrait of Addy hand-painted on a local oyster shell by Tybee artist Eric Denney. Erica’s three young children also get their hands messy with paint when helping their mom paint Addy.
So far this calving season, the most endangered great whales in the world, the North Atlantic Right Whales, have birthed 14 calves. We still have through the end of March until the season is considered done though. We are always hoping for a few more calves to appear alongside their 60-foot mothers who have not eaten since leaving their feeding grounds off New England and Nova Scotia back in the fall while still pregnant. Their gestation period (pregnancy duration) is 13 months. I am sure all of you mothers can empathize with having to swim 2000 miles in the last few months of your pregnancy with a nearly 2000-pound baby still onboard!
A mother whale’s number one job is to nurse her calf successfully to the point that it can swim alongside her for the 2000 miles migration back to the feeding grounds by spring and that’s a big job! Keeping herself and her newborn safe is quite a tall order and it is up to boaters specifically to ensure their safety.
As our Georgia state mammal, the North Atlantic Right Whale is our unique winter visitor, and it is especially incumbent upon us to make sure they stay safe. The way to do just that is to know the regulations.
From the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website the word is:
Be wise stewards of Georgia’s natural environment and enjoy the out-of-doors responsibly. If boating off Georgia’s coast from December to April, follow the Guidelines for Navigating in Right Whale Waters outlined below. Report right whale sightings by calling 800-272-8363.
Mariners operating in the coastal waters of the southeastern United States in winter should instruct all watches to look for right whales. Right whales will appear as black objects in the water and may just barely clear the surface. Look for a “V” shaped spout created when the whales breathe. During night and other periods of reduced visibility, vessel operators should use the slowest safe speed to reduce the risk of collisions with rights whales.
If you should see a right whale, slow your vessel, and take measures to avoid the whale(s). Do not assume the whale will move from your path. Record the latitude and longitude, LORAN coordinates or identify the location of the whale in relationship to buoys. Note the direction of the whale’s travel and notify authorities and other ships in the area immediately. In Georgia, call 800-272-8363 (1-800-2-SAVE-ME).
New Center Exhibits Update
Even though we have moved into our new Center, we are still developing our exhibits, which means there is still time for more sponsors to claim one. For as little as $5000, your name or your family’s name will be displayed by the exhibit to let our visitors know of your good taste and generous support for ocean science education. For as little as $2,500 your name will be displayed on one of our important education carts.