Nest conservation program

Every year, multiple species of sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs on the beaches of South Padre Island and Boca Chica Beach. The most common nesting female we encounter is the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Kemp’s ridley is  critically endangered due to decades of egg harvesting in their primary nesting grounds of Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and mortality related to shrimp fisheries before the implementation of Turtle Excluder Devices (TED) . Today, there are multiple government agencies and non-profit organizations in both Mexico and the United States working towards saving this critically endangered species of sea turtle.

Since 2007, Sea Turtle, Inc. has participated in the bi-national efforts to protect the Kemp’s ridley and other species of sea turtles that come ashore to lay eggs. Between April 1 and August 15, our interns and volunteers conduct daily patrols in the 50 southernmost miles of Texas’ beaches looking for sea turtle nesting activity. If we encounter a nesting female, we carefully tag the turtle, take a biopsy sample, and collect morphometric data in collaboration with Dr. Donna Shaver’s mark and recapture program started at Padre Island National Seashore in 1991. Once the nesting female is safely back in the water, we excavate her eggs and relocate them to a hatchery for safe incubation. After a period of 45 to 55 days, hatchlings emerge from the nest cavities and we safely release them to the Gulf of Mexico under moonlight and away from city lights. When conditions allow, we hold public hatchling releases.

Conservation around the World

Sea Turtle, Inc. is a proud advocate of other sea turtle conservation programs around the world. This year, we have provided financial support to a sea turtle hospital in Glyfada, Greece and a sea turtle nesting project in the southern beaches of Sri Lanka.

We also created a partnership with the Universidad Michoacána de San Nicolas and the communities of Colola and Mexiquillo in Michoacán, Mexico. Every year, we take a small group of tourists to participate in conservation efforts for the pacific black sea turtle in Colola, Michoacan. The funds generated from these eco-tours are given back to those communities to continue conservation efforts to protect pacific black and leatherback sea turtles.

To learn more about how you can participate in these tours, please email Mariana Devlin at

Sea Turtle Hatchling releases


Our number one priority is to make sure sea turtle hatchlings make it to the Gulf of Mexico as soon as they hatch. Generally, it happens right in the middle of the night. However, sometimes hatchlings emerge as the sun is rising, and we are able to hold a public  release. Your chance of seeing a public hatchling release increases when a lot of nests are expected to hatch at the same time. Look at the calendar below to see how many nests we have protected and the expected dates of hatching.


2019 Nesting Season By The Numbers

Break down of our 2019 nesting season

Hours patrolled
Kemp's ridley nests found
Loggerhead nests found
Miles patrolled
Kemp's ridley hatchlings released
Loggerhead hatchlings released

2020 Nesting Season Statistics

Nest Number Date Found Number of Eggs Nest Name Adopted By Estimated Hatching Dates
# 1 00/00/2020 xxx Insert Name Here Joe and Rosalie Eliff Estimated Dates Here
#2 00/00/2020 xxx Insert Name Here Adopter Name Here Estimated Dates Here
#3 00/00/2020 xxx Dakota Boatright Adopter Name Here Estimated Dates Here
#4 00/00/2020 xxx Elkins Nest The Elkins Family Estimated Dates Here
#5 00/00/2020 xxx Elkins Nest The Elkins Family Estimated Dates Here
#6 00/00/2020 xxx Rei's Cozy Corner Reizel De Leon Estimated Dates Here
#7 00/00/2020 xxx Insert Name Here Adopt Me! Available for Adoption Estimated Dates Here
#8 00/00/2020 xxx Regan Powell Olivia Powell Estimated Dates Here
#9 00/00/2020 xxx The Matthew J. Smith Family Matthew Smith Estimated Dates Here
#10 00/00/2020 xxx SAIYAM Hari Vyakarnam Estimated Dates Here
#11 00/00/2020 xxx Sherman8tor Dave and Ina Sherman Estimated Dates Here
#12 00/00/2020 xxx TLC Tammy Jungers Estimated Dates Here
#13 00/00/2020 xxx Sunshine Cynthia Huber Estimated Dates Here
#14 00/00/2020 xxx Apollo Alex Anderson Estimated Dates Here
#15 00/00/2020 xxx Sara Ryan Kent Estimated Dates Here

Support Sea Turtle Inc.

Later this year, we are going to completely renovate and expand our hospital. When it is completed in 2021, our new veterinary clinic will include a surgical suite, treatment area, lead-lined x-ray room, and a blood work station. There will be a ground-to-ceiling viewing window into our treatment room/surgical suite which will allow for our visitors to watch treatments and procedures. Mark your calendars for summer 2021 to come check out our new hospital!

Patient needs can range from minor treatments to major surgery and long term care. Be a part of the journey through patient adoption.

Shop in our gift store to buy gifts for friends and family. This is a great way to support the mission of Sea Turtle, Inc.

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