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Sea turtle hatchling release: what to expect at PINS

Event scheduled for Friday, Saturday mornings
Sea Turtle
Posted at 4:28 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 18:27:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  — For the first time in almost two years, the Padre Island National Seashore will be hosting a sea turtle hatchling release.

Families are coming from across the state to witness the wonder of nature.

“We are from Dallas, we came here to see the hatchlings, my kids are very excited about that, we have been waiting for this for a while,” says Clement Chan, who drove to Corpus Christi for the event with his wife and two children.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event:

Different than years past, the park will be requiring visitors to pay the $10 dollar park entrance fee. There are other deals for week-long passes, year-long passes, and options for veterans and their families. Tickets for the park can be purchased in advance at the Padre Island National Seashore’s website.

The majority of this money will go back into the park for projects like the rehabilitation of the shower-changing facility says Kelly Taylor, park ranger and public information officer for the park.

Taylor says they are expecting a large turnout and recommend arriving at the park early. The release begins at roughly 6:45 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. There will be two lanes, one for those paying at the front entrance, and those who purchased tickets in advance.

Visitors will head to the parking lot in front of the Malaquite visitors center. An information session will be held on the deck before the release and pamphlets will be handed out.

The attendees will then head to the beach for the big moment.

“It’s a super cool opportunity because it’s not every day that you get to see tiny hatchlings race to the ocean. and so, I think people who are passionate about turtles, who are passionate about conservation, this is really the apex of ‘wow! look what we did!’” says Taylor.

The hatchlings typically take 20 to 45 minutes to crawl down to the water giving everyone a chance to catch a glimpse.

Taylor asks that visitors call the "hatchling hotline" at 361-949-7163 before they arrive in case of cancellation due to weather or other delays.