SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - Coast Guard Station South Padre Island crew members returned five endangered sea turtles to the Gulf of Mexico Friday, as part of a release program run by Sea Turtle Inc., a nonprofit organization that educates the public and rehabilitates injured sea turtles recovered in the area.
“We’re always happy to participate in the release of sea turtles, which supports our commitment to protecting endangered species,” said Lt. Josh Sagers, the commanding officer of Station South Padre Island.
The turtles released were all Kemp’s Ridley turtles and ranged in size from 10 to 25 pounds. The Kemp’s Ridley is one of the smallest and most critically endangered of sea turtle species, with most nest sites along the eastern shores of Texas and Mexico.
Sea Turtle Inc. recovers and releases approximately 30 rehabilitated sea turtles a year, in addition to monitoring turtle nest sites and releasing hatchlings into the sea.