CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – It’s looking like a nice day, weather-wise, for the public to come and watch the release of rehabilitated sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico.
Officials with several agencies, along with many volunteers, rescued the cold-stunned green sea turtles over the past few days. Temperatures dropped rapidly and the turtles required rehabilitation.
Now, they’ll go back into the water at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. The release will be held in front of the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore, on North Padre Island.
If the forecast changes and the temperatures drop again, the release could be postponed.
To attend, follow Park Road 22 to Padre Island National Seashore, about 3.6 miles past the entrance station to the Malaquite Visitor Center. Walk through the visitor center complex to the boardwalk and proceed down to the beach.
Representatives from the National Park Service and other organizations involved in the rescue and care of the turtles will be there. Starting at 9 a.m., they will provide information and instructions about the release.
“A cold-stunned sea turtle is one that has become hypothermic due to cold weather,” according to a news release from the Padre Island National Seashore. “Sea turtles are reptiles and cannot regulate their body temperature. When the water temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they will not be able to swim -- increasing the risk of predation and boat strikes. They float to the water’s surface or wash ashore. If not located and protected quickly, they often succumb to the elements.”