Padre Island Holds Centennial Sea Turtle Celebration

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At the Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi on July 9, over 3,700 visitors gathered at the Centennial Sea Turtle Celebration. This important event marks the 100th year the shore has been recognized as part of the national park system. It also marked the 14th release of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles this year alone. According to the Caller Times, other activities included presentations about the sea turtle volunteers and family crafts, sand sculpting and face painting.

For 40 years, Padre Island National Seashore volunteers have aided Kemp’s ridley turtles through their nesting and journey to the sea. National Geographic states that, “The Kemp’s ridley turtle is the world’s most endangered sea turtle, and with a worldwide female nesting population roughly estimated at just 1,000 individuals, its survival truly hangs in the balance…Kemp’s ridleys are among the smallest sea turtles, reaching only about 2 feet in shell length and weighing up to 100 pounds.”

Watching the tiny turtles pull themselves over the sand and into the water is beyond adorable, but it also provides an astounding look at one of nature’s rite of passage moments with a very endangered species. To catch the next release on the Padre Island National Seashore, check their Facebook page for updates.