The 7th public Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchling release for 2019 is scheduled for 6:45 am on Monday July 1, at Padre Island National Seashore, on North Padre Island. No fee is charged to attend and watch the public hatchling releases.
However, sometimes hatching speeds up or slows down so before you come out to the release MAKE SURE to check this Facebook page or call the Hatchling Hotline at 361-949-7163 to check if the turtles are ready for release on schedule. If the release must be cancelled they will post a cancellation message on this Facebook page and on the Hatchling Hotline. If these cancellation messages have not been done by 2:00 am on Monday July 1 then the release will be held as scheduled. However, if thunderstorms develop, or if water is surging all the way up to the dunes, at the release site during the release time, public participation in the release must be cancelled due to safety concerns
RELEASE DIRECTIONS: The release will be held in front of the Malaquite Beach Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore. To attend, follow park road 22 out to Padre Island National Seashore. It will take 25-30 minutes to drive from the hotels and residential areas on North Padre Island to the release site. Adhere to all posted speed limits and stop signs at the National Seashore. About 1 mile after the National Seashore Entrance Sign you will see the National Seashore Entrance Station in the middle of the road. Stop at the Entrance Station, and if it is open identify that you are attending the release and you will not be charged park entrance fees. About 3 miles after the National Seashore Entrance Station, you will see a hatchling release sign on the right and the large Malaquite Beach Visitor Center parking lot on the left. You should turn left there, park your vehicle in the large lot, and meet on the deck of the Visitor Center. A park ranger will meet you there to deliver a program about the turtles (starting at about 6:20 am) and lead you to the release site (at 6:45 am). For those arriving early, please note that the hatchling release sign will not be present until about 6:15 am.
At the release, you should not bring or eat food since it will attract gulls, and you should not wear white colored clothing or white colored footwear or take photos using a flash, since all of these will disorient the hatchlings.
FUTURE RELEASES: They hope to hold about 13-18 more public releases of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles at Padre Island National Seashore this year. Dates will depend on when the eggs hatch and the hatchlings are ready for release. For more information about future releases, visit the website at www.nps.gov/pais and keep watching the Facebook page.