We are a unique organization specializing in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick or injured marine animals. The animals that come through our doors arrive because they are suffering from an illness or severe injury. Many of our animals are found by local residents, fishermen, park rangers or even visitors to the area.
We have an emergency stranding line (727-441-1790, ext. 234) to report a marine animal emergency and CMA staff members are paged to respond 24 hours a day.
Once an animal arrives at our hospital, a team of experienced CMA staff biologists, veterinarians and volunteers create a rehabilitation plan specifically developed based on its injury or illness with the goal of return to the wild. We also give every animal a name as they have personalities just like we do. It is often hard to say goodbye to our new friends when they are successfully rehabbed, however we feel so happy to be able to return them to their homes.
Sometimes the injuries are so severe, or the animal is so young, that it would not be in the animal's best interest to release it back into the wild. CMA works with agencies such as National Marine Fisheries and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to make these decisions. If the animal is unable to be released back into the wild, it becomes a permanent member of the CMA family, and lives here to serve as an ambassador for their species to help us promote environmental conservation.