The Rescue Center of Marine Turtles in Brancaleone was founded in 2006, thanks to the Life Nature project called "Tartanet", led by CTS Environment with the participation of more than 30 partners. TARTANET was funded by the European Community. Following the end of Life "Tartanet", in 2009, the Association of Environmental Nonprofit called "Naturalmente Brancaleone" was born and was contracted by the CTS, to continue, in terms of volunteer, the work done in the early years of the CRTM. This agreement comes to an end in January 2015. Currently, Brancaleone environmental non-profit association, today, it is the current manager of the CRTM of Brancaleone. The association has set as its main objective the protection and conservation of sea turtles, through the rescue, care and rehabilitation of specimens found in difficulty.
The CRTM is a reference point for many institutions, research institutions and Italian and foreign universities, with which the staff worked in many projects. The structure also carries out a very important role in raising awareness and environmental education of children hosting numerous schools, and groups, families and other industry and environmental associations. During the summer, it is a destination for many tourists coming from all over Italy to visit the turtle hospital.
Thanks to the work done by the association, the structure is crucial for the preservation of species, caring and giving back to the sea more than 300 specimens. The CRTM is right inside the site of the most important egg-laying species Caretta caretta. Recently, in fact, it has been discovered by researchers that the Ionian-southern Calabria, called "Costa dei Gelsomini", is the main Italian nesting site of Caretta caretta. In these 36 km of coastline almost desert focuses, in fact, 80% of all nests deposited in Italy (source Unical).
The structure, for the hospitalization of the turtles, has a quarantine tanks and rehabilitation, with filtration system, heating and UVB rays room, veterinary clinic and operating room.