More Than 500 Baby Sea Turtles Released Off Florida Coast

On Thursday of this week, The U.S. Coast Guard assisted with the release of 500 sea turtle hatchlings about six miles off the coast of Boca Raton because it is committed to protecting endangered and threatened species, officials said in a statement. Florida's nesting season runs from March through October on the Atlantic coast, and from May through October on the Gulf Coast.

Chief Cannon Schider-Heisel who is with the U.S. Coast Guard, also volunteers at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, where the hatchlings were collected. He joined marine scientist Melanie Stadler and other turtle rescue volunteers to release 311 loggerhead and 194 green sea turtles on Thursday.

"I'm very passionate about the environment. And my job affords me the chance to do that sometimes, where I get to help educate the public about the environment. It's a facet of my job that I love," said Chief Schider-Heisel.

Marine scientist, Melanie Stadler agrees that the Coast Guard's assistance with transporting so many baby sea turtles at once was "crucial" for their survival. "A lot of these I literally pulled out of a nest. I have a connection with a lot of them, as do the rest of the turtle specialists. We all rescue these little guys every morning and knowing that we get to release them and they are healthy and ready to go is pretty awesome."

The turtle hatchlings, as young as two days old, come from turtle nests from beaches throughout Florida where the loggerhead, leatherback and green turtles nest regularly. The loggerhead turtle is threatened and the green and leatherback are endangered, but all sea turtles are federally protected.

Upon release, the baby turtles were slowly placed in the water and onto beds of seaweed, a safe and comfortable place for them to be released. This way there is more hope for them to survive. In the wild only about one in 1,000 baby turtles survive to adulthood.

Responses to "The U.S. Coast Guard assists with the release of 500 baby sea turtles into the Atlantic Ocean (Photos)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    great work!

  2. Anonymous says:

    gracefully done....

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