Roanoke Island Press Room | Manteo, NC 27954

Roanoke Island Press Room

Release: Immediate
Date: 6-23-2022
Contact: Larry Warner, Director
NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island
(252) 475-2306
[email protected]
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

Renovations to take place in the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

MANTEO, N.C. –Beginning June 24, the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island’s Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center will undergo renovations including increasing pool sizes, upgrading life support systems, and other maintenance needs. Construction will take place throughout the summer and will conclude this fall before STAR Center’s busiest time of year, sea turtle cold-stun season. Additions to the space will allow the STAR Center to care for more sea turtles, better manage large sea turtles, and provide enhanced care and welfare for all patients. 

The public area of STAR Center will be open as work permits. There may be extended times where STAR Center will be closed to the public. During construction there will be no sea turtle patients for viewing during renovations. STAR Center staff will continue to care for new and current patients behind the scenes. Guests can view the resident Kemps ridley sea turtle, Fin, in the Operation Sea Turtle Rescue gallery. 

These renovations are being made possible by a grant from the Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Foundation. This grant is also funding a mobile holding system for mass sea turtle stranding response. 

The STAR Center is a 3,000 square foot space where aquarium staff provide medical care to sick and injured sea turtles. Since 2015 the STAR Center has admitted 1,244 sea turtles and continues to care for patients year-round.  

Current photo of STAR Center, prior to renovations that will occur this summer.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. 
 NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C.  Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit

Please call (252) 475-2324 if you would like to schedule a press visit, set up interviews with anyone on the staff, or have questions about an event or exhibit. The Aquarium may be unable to accommodate unscheduled or short-notice media visits.

Commercial and organizational photography and filming: Videotaping or photographing on Aquarium grounds for commercial use, for-profit purposes, not-for-profit organizations or enterprises, educational productions and student projects must be approved and scheduled by the Public Relations department. Auxiliary lighting, power cords, cumbersome equipment or other trip hazards are not permitted during operating hours. Activities must not impede access to exhibits or negatively affect visitors. Other guidelines apply – contact Public Relations for more information. Wedding photographers should check with the Special Events Coordinator.

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