• Saltwater Restaurants S.E.A. Initiative Dedicates Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge New Peli-pad Habitat

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    November 24, 2021

    Navarre, FL — Saltwater Restaurants S.E.A. Initiative dedicates Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge New Peli-pad Habitat to support shorebird rehabilitation.

    Earlier this year Saltwater Restaurants, Inc. as part of their S.E. A. Initiative donated $10,000 to Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) to build a shorebird rehabilitation habitat and support the rehabilitation costs for shorebirds that have become injured or orphaned along the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Panhandle area. On November 18th, many of the Saltwater Restaurants team, staff and BOD members of ECWR officially dedicated the habitat “The Saltwater Restaurant’s Peli-pad”. For example, the Peli-pad is designed to keep recovering shorebirds from getting bumblefoot as they rehabilitate. Often occurring in extended rehabilitation, bumblefoot (aka “pododermatitis”) is a common condition referring to a painful foot infection, and if left untreated the animal cannot walk or could dieThe Peli-pad also allows ECWR staff and volunteers to monitor an animal’s recovery by allowing restricted activity and movement, which allows the proper muscle strengthening before full flight can be permitted.

    “ECWR was honored to provide a behind-the-scenes tour to our community partners who came to dedicate the Peli-pad. We were even able to move in its first patient, a Royal Tern, during the Saltwater representatives’ tour, which was a great aspect for them to witness. They were able to see firsthand how an animal must undergo various stages of rehabilitation before returning to the wild, which is the ultimate goal of ECWR’s wildlife work. We are very excited for this partnership as our coastal wildlife is not only iconic, but vital to our ecosystems and Saltwater Restaurants are as passionate about conserving them for future generations as we are.” Crystie Baker, Executive Director ECWR explained.

    “Our refuge center treats over 200 shorebirds annually and the average cost for rehabilitation for one of these birds’ can be up to $75 a day for up to 14-days depending on their injuries and care. The support from Saltwater Restaurants will help fund the medications and professional veterinary attention needed specifically for our brown pelicans, which make up more than half of the shorebirds brought to our center each year.” Grants and Donor Manager, Denise Song stated. The funds provided by S.E.A. will assist with the treatment costs at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) where trained specialists work to help pelicans and shorebirds heal from their injury and safely return to their environment.

    Modern threats to brown pelicans and seabirds include oil spills and pollution, human disturbance of nesting colonies, entanglement in fishing gear, swallowing fishing hooks or debris. The Saltwater Restaurants’ partnership will additional fund signage along local piers for the rescue hotline and helpful instructions for when people come across an injured or entangled seabird or animal.

    The donation is a part of Saltwater Restaurant’s ongoing S.E.A. Initiative that assists in programs that support beach conservation and welfare campaigns along the Emerald Coast of Florida. The restaurants include Surf Hut, Rockin Tacos, Floyd’s Shrimp House, Al’s Beach Club, and the 3 Crab Trap locations in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Perdido Key.

    “The Gulf of Mexico is without a doubt our greatest resource.” says Misty Rae Ruthrauff, Director of Marketing. “Our restaurants are committed to giving back to our very own backyard that provides not just a beachfront dining experience, but also the fresh Gulf seafood we serve. The pelicans are an important part of that ecosystem and we want to make sure they are well taken care of.”

    For more than twenty-five years, the ECWR daily operational goal has been the rehabilitation and release of Northwest Florida native wildlife. The staff is on-duty seven days a week to assist local and state agencies in managing wildlife. ECWR works with local governments, private businesses and citizens to protect habitats and the wildlife that lives here.

    Dr. Natalie Dyson, Erin Crumbley, Annette Beard,Clint Rodgers, Misty Rae Ruthrauff, Jessica Knowlton, Mitch Robbins Crystie Baker, Roy Wilkenson, Joshua Daugherty, Michelle Pettis, Fred AbbottAbout Emerald Coast Wildlife
    Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Navarre, FL with  located at  Circle Navarre, FL 3

    About Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge

    Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Navarre, FL with the mission of education, conservation, and rehabilitation for the welfare of Florida’s native wildlife through rescue, rehabilitation, and release. ECWR also operates a Marine Mammal Stranding Program, which responds to and primarily aids marine mammals, and sea turtles in certain locations. Supported and funded by grants and donations ECWR’s medical/rehab center is open for animal emergencies 7 days a week, 8 am – 4 pm and our Education Center is open to the public Wednesday – Saturday 9 am – 3 pm and Sunday 11 am – 3 pm. For more information about ECWR and this mission, contact Crystie Baker (ECWR Executive Director) at 850-684-1485 or Denise Song (ECWR Grants & Donor Manager) at 321.432.3620 https://emeraldcoastwildliferefuge.org/ or visit the refuge located at 3051 Cloptons Circle Navarre, FL 32566

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    Instagram: @ecwildliferefuge
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    Media Info Contact: Denise Song, 321-432-3620 denise@emeraldcoastwildliferefuge.org

    Denise Song
    denise@emeraldcoastwildliferefuge.org, (850) 684-1485