50 sea turtles released at Isla Blanca Park

A cheering crowd gathered at Isla Blanca Park on Tuesday as 50 previously cold-stunned green sea turtles were released into the Gulf of Mexico.

A cheering crowd gathered at Isla Blanca Park on Tuesday as 50 previously cold-stunned green sea turtles were released into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea Turtle Inc. Marketing Director San Juana Zavala said the center and its partners will patrol the coast for cold-stunned turtles again if water temperatures dip below 55 degrees. Cold-stunned turtles are vulnerable to predators and even vehicles driving on the beach if they wash ashore.

One piece of good news: less than a handful of turtles rehabilitated and released have been picked up at South Padre Island before.

“That (let’s) us know the green sea turtle population is growing,” Zavala said, “and there are a lot of green sea turtles out there.”

Sea Turtle Inc. will celebrate the opening of its $6 million education complex Feb. 17.