BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The National Aquarium recognized World Sea Turtle Day on Wednesday.

“As we commemorate World Sea Turtle Day, we must recommit to protecting these endangered species,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “That’s why I’m proud to lead my colleagues in urging Congress to provide funding support for institutions that are leading recovery efforts. This work plays a key role in sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation.”

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There are 7 species of sea turtles and although they are federally protected, they are all threatened or critically endangered. For the past 20 years, the National Aquarium’s Animal Health and Rescue teams have worked to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles along the East Coast. The National Aquarium is one of more than 50 organizations around the country permitted to rehabilitate sea turtles

The aquarium is currently caring for a Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle named Pecorino. This is the most endangered sea turtle species and is the most common rescued animal at the National Aquarium. Pecorino was rescued after stranding with injuries consistent with a boat propeller strike.

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The aquarium said he’s making great strides in his recovery but at this time he is not a candidate for release. He has been in rehab for 10 months and the average rehabilitation stay for a sea turtle is 3 to 6 months which costs a total annual average of close to $600,000.

Experts believe that there will be a continued increase in demand for facilities and staff to help rescue endanger sea turtles.  More than 50 plus organizations, voluntarily spend at least five million dollars each year on this work.

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CBS Baltimore Staff