Tribute to Winter the Dolphin
As long-time supporters of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, my wife and I were deeply saddened by the untimely death of Winter, the dolphin who won hearts around the world wearing a prosthetic that helped her swim.
At the same time, reactions from some uninformed people were disturbing. They confused CMA with those tourist traps where healthy animals are trapped and trained to entertain people with very little concern for the animal’s welfare.
The Truth About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Nothing could be further from the truth with Clearwater Marine Aquarium. CMA exemplifies the motto of rescue, rehabilitate and release. Any animals that cannot be released back into the wild are protected under the National Fish and Wildlife Service, which sets very clear (and high) standards for releasing animals that can survive and maintains the best possible facilities for those who can’t. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of those facilities that qualifies for continued animal care for those that cannot be released.
And as awesome as Winter was, and as many disabled people as she inspired, she never could have survived if she had to protect herself from predators and catch her own prey without a fully functioning tail.
The Story of Nicholas the Dolphin
This brings me to our personal favorite dolphin, Nicholas. He was found on Christmas Eve 2002 with his mother, who had beached herself near Gibsonton, Florida. His mother passed away three days later, and Nicholas needed 24/7 care for months to treat second-and third-degree sunburns over much of his body.
He never had a chance to learn to hunt for his own food and with his physical scarring, couldn’t survive in the wild, so he’s been at CMA practically since he was born. Once they nursed him back to health, he became a typical toddler — hyperactive, full of fun, and always looking for a game to play with his friends.
Even at the ripe old age of 18, Nicholas is still an absolute charmer who loves to play with visitors. He’ll look you straight in the eye and then splash you. We swear he’s giggling at us, so we giggle back.
But he’s also sharing important lessons with visitors. His life-threatening sunburn strikes home for all of us at Stream2Sea, where creating sunscreens that protect people and aquatic ecosystems is more than just a job.
Protecting What We Love
We’re protecting what we love. The fact that we can spend time with Nicholas makes us love him even more and makes us even more committed to protecting his brethren in the wild. We support organizations like CMA because they teach other people how smart, lovable, and important wild animals are, and hopefully encourage them to do what they can to protect other animals and their habitats.
Around the world, nearly every species of animal is threatened in some way – from overfishing to habitat loss and pollution. ‘Reef-safe’ sunscreen and biodegradable body care products are an important part of that protection, and it isn’t just for tropical islands. Toxic petrochemicals from consumer products are found in nearly every body of water because they’re not removed in a typical wastewater removal treatment plant.
The body of water nearest your home is probably home to many animals, from fish and crabs to otters and awesome birds. If you don’t recognize them, check out a local zoo or aquarium to see what lives nearby. You may be amazed at what you’ll discover. And then you’ll join us in protecting what you love!
Director of Operations
From Stream2Sea – Protect what you love
Faith has been involved in the manufacture of natural products for the past 20+ years as she believes in taking care of ourselves and the environment. When she is not working you can find her swimming in the gulf of Mexico, snorkeling with the manatees, or floating on the water. It is her true happy place!
Stream2Sea has set a new standard for EcoConscious sunscreen and skincare. Along with the required human safety and SPF tests, Stream2Sea products are proven to be readily biodegradable in both salt and fresh water and have passed a comprehensive series of aquatic toxicity tests. Formulated with powerful antioxidant blends to protect skin from sun damage, the Stream2Sea line includes safe sunscreens, conditioning shampoo and body wash, leave-in conditioner, nourishing body lotion and lip balms. Stream2Sea products are currently available online at www.Stream2Sea.com or ask for them at your favorite health food store, dive center or outdoor retailer. Friend us on Facebook or call (866) 960-9513.