Prime Hook’s next Evening at the Hook lecture will feature Suzanne Thurman, executive director of the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, at Milton CHEER Center. The MERR Institute is on call 24 hours a day to provide emergency response to stranded whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea turtles, both living and dead, where they occur in Delaware.
MERR also conducts research on animals that have died, hoping to glean information on the animal, the cause of death, more about the species and the health of the ocean. Reasons for strandings of deceased animals can include illness from natural causes, injuries, entanglement in fishing gear, boat strikes, ingestion of plastics and other debris, and toxins in the marine environment.
An educator by training, Thurman has continued to make community outreach an important focus of MERR since its founding nearly 20 years ago. She will be sharing stories of some of the many marine animals and sea turtles that she and MERR volunteers have interacted with over the years, as well as discussing ways the public can help in the conservation of Delaware’s marine environment and its inhabitants.