• Seaside Seabird Sanctuary grand opening event to celebrate the new organization

    Indian Shores, Fla., Jan. 24, 2017 – Seaside Seabird Sanctuary has set a date for their grand opening celebration. The public is invited to join the non-profit organization on Feb. 23 as they celebrate the new organization and its strengthened mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release sick, injured and orphaned birds.


    “So much has happened since we took over operations of the sanctuary last year and we want the chance to let everyone know what we have accomplished and what is ahead,” said Andrew von Gontard, President of Seaside Seabird Sanctuary. “We hope everyone can join us to hear our update and see for themselves all the great things we have done to help the birds.”


    Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is constantly improving and they always have numerous projects in the works. Recently they partnered with Lee Claxton, ISA Certified Arborist, to maintain the grounds and native plantings and protect the recently repaired netting and structures. They are currently working to restore the pelican statue that has been a fixture in front of the sanctuary for years.


    The staff has also been very busy recently caring for sick birds that have turned up in Coffee Pot Bayou and Riviera Bay Lake in St. Petersburg. The volunteers and staff have made five trips, traveling 160 miles, to rescue 32 brown pelicans and one white egret. The birds have all shown symptoms of lethargy, distended abdomens, swollen and dry eyes, curled toes and, in some cases, loss of feathers. The entire team has been working diligently and passionately to rehabilitate these birds.


    Caring for these birds has been costly and the sanctuary is asking the public to help. Seaside relies 100 percent on private donations to maintain operations. The sanctuary has been designated a public charity by the Internal Revenue Service and all donations to the organization are tax-deductible. Donations can be made by mail, online or in person at the sanctuary located at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, FL 33785.


    The planning for the grand opening event is currently underway. A ribbon cutting ceremony is set for 4 p.m. on Feb. 23. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are encouraged to office@seabirdsanctuary.com.


    About Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

    Seaside Seabird Sanctuary took over operations of the sanctuary in Sept. of 2016. It was originally created in 1971 by former president and director Ralph T. Heath, Jr. The sanctuary has rescued and rehabilitated thousands of birds, ranging from the Eastern Brown Pelican to the Eastern Screech Owl. It was the first facility to breed Eastern Brown Pelicans in captivity. The sanctuary is open to the public 365 days a year. Admission is free, but visitors are encouraged to donate to support the sanctuary’s ongoing mission. More information can be found at www.seabirdsanctuary.com