When you think of Atlantis, most people either think of the lost city or the famous water park resort. However, did you know that Atlantis Paradise Island also serves as a marine life rehabilitation center?
Atlantis’s Blue Project Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of helping to rescue, rehabilitate and release displaced or injured back to the wild. Thanks to their 165 dedicated, full-time marine life specialists, the marine life at Atlantis is supremely cared for every day of the year. Additionally, the Blue Project Foundation works to protect sea species and their habitats from going extinct in the wild by educating visitors.
Located at Atlantis is the marine mammal habitat Dolphin Cay. Here, marine staff take care of the resort’s marine wildlife and are dedicated to the conservation and education of these mammals. This facility is home to some pretty special guests as well. 17 dolphins and 14 sea lions whose homes were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina currently call Dolphin Cay their home. While guests can participate in guided interactions with some of the aquatic residents of Dolphin Cay, its main purpose is to help rehabilitate injured or displaced marine life so that they can be released back into the wild.
While visiting Dolphin Cay, we got to participate in the Sun Up with Sea Lions activity, where we met one of the stars of the rehabilitation facility, Sunshine the sea lion. During this interaction, guests will get to assist the staff as they perform a daily exam of the sea lions while also participating in exercises and play time. Getting to interact with sea lions like Sunshine first-hand makes this experience definitely worth the early morning rise!
One of the great things about the Bahamas is their dedication to rehabilitating the local ecosystem. Whether it is nursing some animals back to health or replanting coral, the Blue Project Foundation takes wildlife preservation seriously. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to release endangered sea turtles back into the wild as part of their Turtle Release program. Along the way, we got to learn all about sea turtles and learn about the effects humans and pollution have on their ecosystem. Shea and Keelin even got to name the turtles before getting into the water and releasing them into the wild, giving a personal touch to this unique interaction. The entire excursion lasts about 4 hours and can be reserved in advance. So don’t wait to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Be sure to check out the Blue Project Foundation website to learn more about their mission and how you and your family can help!
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