Sea Turtles Arrive at MARC

December 9th, 2013 by Shannon

Sea Turtles Arrive for Care

One of the most important aspects of the work we do at MARC is provide care to sea turtles.  When you think of New England, sea turtles aren’t typically an animal that comes to mind.  But sea turtles are a huge part of marine animal rehabilitation efforts in the New England area.  Sea turtles are reptiles that enjoy warm water temperature, in fact, they rely on warm water temperatures to maintain proper bodily functions, since as reptiles, they do not generate their own heat.  Sea turtles naturally enjoy the warm summer waters of the mid-atlantic and northeast US and some even make their way into Cape Cod Bay for summer feeding.  As fall comes around and the temperatures cool, many of the turtles become trapped by the cold temperatures too quickly to return to the warmer waters.  As a result the turtles become hypothermic – the condition is known as “cold-stunning”.  The turtles may float ashore with reduced heart rate, decreased circulation, extreme lethargy, shock, and pneumonia.  In some cases the less fortunate turtles are found dead.

Sea turtle rehabilitation in New England is spearheaded by Mass Audubon Society and New England Aquarium - who work in collaboration to rescue, stabilize and rehabilitate the turtles in their critical condition. During any given fall, between 50 and 300 turtles may wash ashore in a matter of weeks.  As the New England Aquarium rescue program becomes overloaded with turtles, they may transfer groups of turtles for secondary, long-term rehabilitation.  This is where MARC steps in.  

MARC Students and Volunteers Prepare to Unload Turtles 

At MARC, we have an entire enclosure dedicated to the care of these magnificent animals.  Sea turtle species worldwide are all considered endangered or threatened populations, so we are thrilled to provide a home to the animals as they heal and provide superb medical care to prepare them for their return to the wild.  So far this year, we have assisted by taking in four large loggerhead sea turtles.  These turtles, ranging from 30 to 100 pounds each, area all happily swimming in their pools.  Their pools are heated to an optimal “turtle happiness temperature” – of 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is a nice, warm temperature for the turtles to recuperate.  The turtles are all receiving care from our staff and volunteers, which includes feed, medicating and performing diagnostics, like blood work and x-rays.  As we get to know these sea turtles better in the coming weeks, we’ll provide more insight into their recovery.

MARC Veterinarian, Dr. Michele Sims, measures the heart rate of sea turtle “Andes” using a Doppler

MARC Technician, Asheley, takes a blood sample from “Maple”

MARC Technician, Shannon, and student, Nate, place “Andes” into pool for first swim.

“Andes” takes a first swim.

Every donation counts and every dollar goes a long way to helping these animals.  Consider a contribution and help save a turtle’s life today.

“The Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Program at the University of New England’s Marine Science Center is committed to the education of marine students and to the advancement of marine mammal and sea turtle science and conservation through conscientious rehabilitation and ethically-based research practices that lead to the release of individuals and maintenance of healthy populations.  We aim to prepare the next generation of marine scientists for meaningful careers through hands-on learning and the promotion of a culture of marine environmental stewardship.”


October 24th, 2013 by Shannon

Join us this Saturday, October 26, 2013 as we make history at MARC.  Never before have eight (yep, that’s right, 8!!!) UNE/MARC seals been ready to head back to sea together.  It will be a moment so sweet, you’re sure to get a toothache.


These eight seals are scheduled to be released Saturday October 26, 2013

Date:  Saturday, October 26, 2013
Who?  Dots, Sugar Baby, Bananarama, S
lo Poke, Jolly Rancher, Marshmallow, M&M, Blackjack*
(*all subject to change)
Time:  11:30 am (Be there early!)
Blubber Hits the Water at:  ~11:35 am (Blink and you might miss it)
Location:  Gilbert Place, on Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, Maine (as you enter Gilbert Place, veer to the left for public parking) Get Directions

Please drive carefully, mind speed limits and be respectful of the neighbors.  Thanks!

What to Bring:

  • Cameras
  • Good Vibes
  • Donations always accepted.  Every dollar adds up!

About the seals….

“Dots” Stranded at: Harrington, Maine  5/2/2013
His Story:  Maternally-dependent Pup, rescued by COA’s Allied Whale; alone for several days; dehydration; emaciation; ingested rocks/sand on beach (in what we think were attempts to nurse when he was hungry).

“Sugar Baby”  Stranded at:  Cousin’s Island, Maine  5/28/2013
Her Story:  Brought to MARC by Marine Mammals of Maine when her mother couldn’t be found.  Treated for ear infection and eye rupture.

“Bananarama”  Stranded at:  Georgetown, Maine  5/28/2013
His Story:   Brought to MARC by Marine Mammals of Maine when his mother couldn’t be found.  Given nutritional support and treated for ear infection.

“Slo Poke”  Stranded at:  North Beach, Hampton, New Hampshire on 6/28/2013
His Story:  Brought to us by New England Aquarium when he was found with a large injury to his head and neck.

“Jolly Rancher”  Stranded at:  York, Maine on 7/12/2013
Her Story:  She was rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine when she just couldn’t seem to figure out life after mom left.  Like many weanlings, she was underweight with some minor infections.  She was treated for ear infection as well.

“Marshmallow”  Stranded at:  Marshfield, Mass on 7/31/2013
Her Story:  The wrong place at the wrong time.  This little girl was rescued by New England Aquarium after being hit by a boat.  She suffered some large wounds and broken bones, but is on the mend.

“M&M”  Stranded at:  Fortune’s Rocks, Biddeford, Maine on 8/7/2013
His Story:   He was rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine when he just couldn’t seem to catch a break.  Like many weanlings, he was underweight with some minor infections.   We’re hoping he does well on his second chance in the wild.

“Blackjack”  Stranded at:  Bristol, Maine on 10/4/2013
His Story:  The third of three hooded seals treated at MARC since August, Blackjack, like the others was visiting Maine at an unusual time of year (winter is more normal).  He arrived bald, underweight and dehydrated.  We’ve fixed him up and he’s ready to head back to the arctic. Seal Release 09.29.2013

September 27th, 2013 by Shannon

Join us Sunday, September 29, 2013 for another fun-filled seal release!  We’ll be sending three healthy, plump (and scary) seals back to their home in the sea!

Hot Tamales


Date:  Sunday, September 29, 2013
Who?  Atomic Fireball (<–click name to see video), Hot Tamales, and Twizzler
*  (*all subject to change)
Time:  12:00 pm
(Be there early!)
Blubber Hits the Water at:  ~12:02 pm
(Blink and you might miss it)
  Gilbert Place, on Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, Maine (as you enter Gilbert Place, veer to the left for public parking) Get Directions

Please drive carefully, mind speed limits and be respectful of the neighbors.  Thanks!

What to Bring:

  • Cameras
  • Good Vibes
  • Donations always accepted.

Frolic for Flippers 2013 Results

September 25th, 2013 by Shannon

And they're off! - At the 2013 Frolic for Flippers

The results are in.  The “3rd Annual Frolic for Flippers” event was a HUGE success.  We were aiming to raise $20,000 for the Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation program – and you guys really pulled through!  With your help, we were able to raise $18,915 dollars for the MARC program.   It was wildly successful and we owe it to each and every one of YOU!  If you care to make a contribution to help us get a little closer to our $20,000 goal, donations are welcome.

Frolic for Flippers 2013 (View Full Photo Album by Rich Obrey)
193 Onsite Frolic 5K Participants
32 Frolic from Afar Participants
13 Kid’s 1-Mile Fun Run Participants

Total = 238 Participants!

Tours/Visitors at MARC: ~80 people

Total Raised- $18,915.00

Top Frolickers:
Top Male:  Matt Chouinard  18:56.20
Top Female:  Jennifer Sawyer 19:36.00
Top Kid (1-Miler): Logan Tilburg   8:32.70
All 2013 Results:  Overall / Group / Kid’s 1-Miler


Thanks to our 2013 Frolic for Flippers Volunteers
It also truly took a community effort to pull off such a great event.  51 Volunteers (comprised of UNE Students, Staff and Community Members) helped us with event preparation and day of communities.  Help us in thanking all of these wonderful people!  They are the friendly faces that were everywhere – keeping you safe on the course, helping with registration, providing tours to view the seals following the race.

Nate DiMartino, Amanda Liebau, Nicole Hunter, Margot Madden, Chris LaPointe, Kristen Patchett, Sarah Lucchese, Anna Bass, Kayla Pelletier, Tony Lucchese – as Superman, Sam Ainsworth, Lisa Bordonaro, Keith Burgie, Sam Burgie, Liz Caci, Freddie Chisholm, Marissa Collard-Doney, Madeleine Cox, Melissa Currier, Hannah Debeljiak, Tanner Diebold, Erin Dooland, Lynda Doughty, Destiny Doyle, Iliana Flefel, Rebecca Frowine, Dan Hales, Allison Hardman, Kristel Lee, Feier Liu, Cat Lopes, Barb Mackowicz, Jodi Marks, Amanda Nollette, Morgan Pichel, Marissa Redding, Marissa Simoneau, Asheley Simpson, Erin Vienz, Kaylie Vienz, Dominique Walk, Jason/James/Nick/AnnMarie, Dustin Meattey, Steven Sawyer, Alishia Zyer, Pat Touri, Izzi Marquesi, Penny Marquesi, Margot Madden, Becky Buchanan, Halie Pruitt, Iliana Flefel, Margot Madden, Nicole Hunter

Special Thanks to Marine Mammals of Maine for letting Sully the Seal and Dolly the Dolphin come out to play at Frolic :)

The Kid's Love Sully the Seal

Other Special Thanks:

Carl Karrigan and David Dadiego (UNE Media)
UNE Security and Facilities Staff
Denis Letellier (Perfect Signs) – Mile Markers & Finish Line
Michael Gaige (Maine Running Company) – Finish Chute


We never like to send folks home empty handed.  Thank you all for helping us raise $1000′s of dollars for MARC through our raffle tickets sales this year.  Many of you won prizes donated by our generous donors and sponsors.  Be sure to check out some of these companies – we love them and they love our seals!

2013 Frolic for Flippers Raffle Winners!

Your Best Self – Energy Healing Session  (
Winner:  John Mills

Seasonal Pool Closure – Sunrise Pool and Spa (
Winner:  Rhonda Feldman

4-Week Bootcamp Session – Biddeford-Saco Beach Bootcamp
Winner:  Kevin

Maine State Aquarium - Family Passes
Winners:  The Bilsky Family & Elizabeth Caci

SissyCakes 1-dozen Cupcakes
Winners:  John Roe & Chris LaPointe

Wustof Knife (Donated by Woodard and Curran)
Winner:  Phil Grondrine

Oxbow Brewing Gift and Beverage Glasses
Winner:  Phil Grondine

R/V Llyr Scenic Saco River Research Cruise (Donated by UNE Marine Science Center Staff)
Winner:  Jess McMurrer

3-Course Meal for Two (Sea Glass Restaurant)
Winner:  Jason Lenzen

“Whale-of-a-Party” Gift Basket from Beach Grass Shop
Winner:  Libby Blackman

Maine Lobster Boys – Lobster Tour + Keep Your Catch
Winner:  The Brown Family

Bungalow 360 Sea Turtle Beach Bag
Winner:  Gina Prendiville

Bungalow 360 Seals Beach Bag
Winner:  Iliana Flefel

Greener Postures Yoga
Winner:  Christine Racine

Forever Kai Hand-Stamped Eco-Bags
Winners:  E. Madden, Barb Mackowicz, Barry Costa-Pierce, Cindy Larmie, Mike Sheldon, Tracy Deletetsky, Linda Huitt, & Lucas Ritchie

Mia Amicas Beaded Bracelets
Winners:  E. Madden, Linda Huitt, Riley Simmons, Pat Touri, Jess McMurrer & Lauren

50/50 Cash Raffle ($155 – $77.50 for MARC/$77.50 for the Winner)
Winner:  Scott Marchildon (Who Couldn’t Have Been More Kind and Donated His Half Back to MARC)

Three Rivers Adventures 9-Person Rafting Trip
Winner:  Nicole Hunter

Three Rivers Adventures Jump and Raft Package for Two
Winner:  Zach Towne


Thanks to our 2013 Frolic for Flippers Sponsors

Idexx Laboratories
106.3 The Bone
Three Rivers Adventures
Rich Obrey Photography

We can’t wait to Frolic again next year!  We hope you’re already penciling us in for an even bigger, better event in 2014!

Introducing: The NEW Face of MARC

September 16th, 2013 by Shannon

We are thrilled to announce that as of September 16, 2013, MARC is now officially “The Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation” program (formerly the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center).

As part of the strategic plan for UNE’s Marine Science Center, the MARC animal rehabilitation program is being more closely integrated into UNE’s marine science academic programs and has undergone a rebranding to reflect that – complete with a new name, the Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Program, and logo.  The MARC moniker remains intact.

Please take a moment enjoy a short introduction of the University of New England MARC Rebrand by Program Manager, Kristen Patchett.  We hope you enjoy the new look and goals of the MARC program.

Letter from Kristen Patchett, MARC Program Manager