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East End 5K Aims To Raise Awareness For Cold Stun Turtle Season

Nicole Barylski

All proceeds from the race will benefit the foundation's sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation program. (Courtesy Photo)

October marks Sea Turtle Awareness Month at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, and it's also the beginning of the cold stun season, so to raise awareness for both causes, the Foundation is holding the 18th Annual 5K Run for the Ridley on Saturday, October 24th.

"The 18th Annual 5K Run for the Ridley is a wonderful way to educate the public about the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and our Rescue Program," shared Joanne Biegert, Fundraising Coordinator for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. "The race is named after the Kemp's ridley sea turtle, the most endangered sea turtle in the world."

Cold stun turtle season starts when East End waters reach temperatures below 50 degrees, making it prime time for sea turtles across Long Island to start to surrender to cold stunning (hypothermia). Once a sea turtle has hypothermia, it becomes incredibly difficult for the marine animal to escape the cold water and migrate to warmer areas. Starting at the end of October, The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation begins to receive many of its rescue calls for sea turtles, which continues through the winter months.

"Many people are not aware that sea turtles are present in our waters and need our help," explained Biegert. "This race helps raise awareness and the necessary funds that are needed to care for these animals, especially now during Cold Stun Sea Turtle Season when turtles begin to succumb to hypothermia."

The Run for the Ridley 5K will begin at 10 a.m. on Main Street in Riverhead, and goes through a quiet residential neighborhood, culminating on McDermott Avenue. Early registration is $20. Check-in will take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the easternmost end of Municipal Parking Lot adjacent to Peconic River.

All proceeds from the race will benefit the foundation's sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation program.

For more information, or to register, visit riverheadfoundation.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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