5K Run for the Ridley to raise money for cold-stunned sea turtles

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With cold-stun season approaching, endangered sea turtles will be turning up across the island in need of medical care. To help raise awareness and much needed funds, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is hosting its 16th annual 5K Run for the Ridley on Saturday Oct. 26 in Riverhead.

The run is open to all ages and starts at 10 a.m. on Main Street in Riverhead. Check-in opens at 8 a.m. behind the Long Island Aquarium by the Peconic River.

For more information, to register, or to sponsor a runner visit the foundation’s website.

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Last season, the non-profit responded to 32 cold-stunned patients, requiring treatments that can cost up to $6,500 to fully rehabilitate a single turtle.

Because sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, they depend on external sources of heat to stay warm. During the impending cold temperatures, they must migrate to warmer waters.

When turtles are unable to travel south, they can become hypothermic, what’s called “cold-stunned,” according to marine researchers.