Renovations taking place in STAR Center at North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

Published 7:40 pm Saturday, July 2, 2022

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The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island’s Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center is undergoing renovations including increasing pool sizes, upgrading life support systems and other maintenance needs. The project began June 24, 2022.

Construction will take place throughout the summer and will conclude this fall before STAR Center’s busiest time of year, sea turtle cold-stun season. Additions to the space will allow the STAR Center to care for more sea turtles, better manage large sea turtles, and provide enhanced care and welfare for all patients.

The public area of STAR Center will be open as work permits. There may be extended times where STAR Center will be closed to the public. During construction there will be no sea turtle patients for viewing during renovations. STAR Center staff will continue to care for new and current patients behind the scenes. Guests can view the resident Kemps ridley sea turtle, Finn, in the Operation Sea Turtle Rescue gallery.

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These renovations are being made possible by a grant from the Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Foundation. This grant is also funding a mobile holding system for mass sea turtle stranding response.

The STAR Center is a 3,000 square foot space where aquarium staff provide medical care to sick and injured sea turtles. Since 2015 the STAR Center has admitted 1,244 sea turtles and continues to care for patients year-round.