Stranded sea turtles usually start appearing along the Northeast coast of the United States in late November, as the animals that did not make it south in time to avoid falling ocean temperatures become hypothermic and unable to swim or feed. But in the fall of 2015, said marine biologist Rob DiGiovanni, “turtles started to increase more in early December. Maybe because of the climate we had at the time”—it was the world’s warmest November and December on record—“we had animals come in alive on the 23rd of December, still able to be revived.”As the executive director of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, DiGiovanni runs the only organization in New York licensed to assess and pick up stranded seals, dolphins, and sea turtles—all protected species under federal law—from the state’s 2,625 miles of coastlines, beaches, bays, and estuaries. Nursing marine animals back to health takes skill, dedication, and money. But the group’s challenge is to get the word out that Long Island’s beaches—despite being nestled in the nation’s most densely populated metropolitan area and best known as a summer party destination—are also habitat for wild animals that need special treatment when they show up onshore.