CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — People came from all over to watch the tiny turtles crawl toward their home at Padre Island National Seashore's Thursday sea-turtle release.
Hatchling releases typically occur from mid-June through August, and are open to the public starting at 6:45 a.m. on Malaquite Beach, behind the visitor center
“It was great, and it was fantastic, and I have been telling everyone I wanted to do this for the past 25 years of my life," said Elsa Barrientos.
These releases have a big impact to the state and our area. Officials with PINS said that in 2021, 5.9 million park visitors spent an estimated $371 million in local gateway regions while visiting National Park Service lands in Texas.
“It was fun," said Morgan Holt. "I bet this one is going to get first."
The hatchlings usually take 20-45 minutes to make their way across the beach and into the water.
Padre Island National Seashore officials said that not all hatchling releases are public, and they do not occur on a regular schedule because they cannot predict exactly when they hatch.
“They are so tiny, they are so tiny, but yeah, I think 312 were released today," said Tya Issitt.
To find out if there is a change or cancellation for the planned release, you can call the hatchling hotline at (361) 949-7163 before you drive out to the seashore.