I had the exciting experience of releasing a sea turtle into the warm Gulf water off of St George’s Island in Florida.
Not exactly what I thought to be doing as a campground volunteer.
I didn’t know what to expect when the Ranger told us to be at the turtle release today.
When we arrived at the beach, they explained twenty-two turtles were being released. There was a crowd listening to the brief lecture.
Sea turtles are warm water lifeforms. When a cold snap happens that chills the water they can go into a type of hibernation and are vulnerable.
These were carried here in plastic boxes and are about the size of a dinner plate.
They are about ten to fifteen years old and won’t be back to lay eggs until they’re twenty-five years old.
The Greens were taken from St. Joseph’s Island in Florida and the others from Boston Harbor in Massachusetts.
Many rescue centers take them in, nurse them back to health and rerelease them into the wild.
We released eleven Green Sea turtles and eleven Kemp-Ripler Turtles.
The Greens will return to this area, The others will scatter up the Atlantic coast.
I was nervous to handle these wild creatures but the one I held was placid. It was surprisingly light for its size.
I waded into the water and let it go. within seconds it swam into deep water and was gone.
My heart fluttered with a mixture of joy and trepidation. I won’t be here in ten to twenty years, but someone will. To see the eggs hatch. To know life goes on.
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