Seaside Celebration

12 nests released on World Sea Turtle Day

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Things got off to an auspicious and busy start last Friday, as Sea Turtle Inc. (STI) welcomed hatchlings from a dozen nests just in time to celebrate World Sea Turtle Day.

With nesting season in full swing, staff and volunteers at STI have been working around the clock, patrolling the beaches for new nests, caring for those already tucked safely away in a protected corral, releasing hatchlings privately under the cover of darkness and in public releases just after dawn.

“We are breaking records this year,” STI Marketing Director Sanjuana Zavala said moments after the crowd dispersed from Friday morning’s hatchling release. “We’re having more mamas coming in, more nests being laid, and we’re having a good percentage of them hatching,” she said.

Friday’s public release of approximately 200 turtles from three nests came after an additional nine or so had been released during the overnight hours. “We released more last night, so we had about 10-12 nests emerge … in the past seven hours,” Zavala said.

The bevy of baby turtles emerging from their nests just happened to coincide with the internationally recognized World Sea Turtle Day and was a perfect illustration for the banner year the Kemp’s ridley turtle has been experiencing.

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