Over a million gallons of BP oil and dispersants is likely lurking in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, but near the surface, sea turtles, whales, and marine life is returning slowly. My friend and professional photographer Jerry Moran just shared more of his amazing work with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.

Working together with Jerry, Bonnie flying her Cessna as On Wings of Care, Brock Cahill and others in the Gulf volunteering to help with our work through Sea Shepherd, and many others formed a tight family that is still in touch regularly. During a recent aerial survey, Jerry and Bonnie ditched the plan and used their gut instinct and in the process were rewarded! They encountered leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, whale sharks feeding, and a sperm whale. Click here to view more of Jerry’s photos from that day, taken out the window of a moving airplane, but sharp and clear.

Many questions remain about the effects of BP oil and dispersants to sea turtles, the Gulf ecosystem, and the health of residents of Gulf coastal communities. To hear the expert opinions of local Louisiana Bucket Brigade director Anne Rolfes leading health surveys and marine biologist and toxicologist Dr. Chris Pincetich of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, click here for the public radio blog and broadcast archive.

Sea turtles are still immersed and eating from oceans containing BP oil and dispersants. Monitoring of these Gulf sea turtles is taking place by professional sea turtle veterinarians scouring the habitat on boats. STRP rode along one of these trips and captured the following video of Dr. Brain Stacy and Dr. Joe Flanagan assessing the health of a young Kemp’s ridley sea turtle then taking a blood sample from it for analysis.