Conserving Sea Turtle population on South Padre Island

Inch by inch, foot by foot, sea turtle experts like Jeff George patrol the beach on South Padre Island.

We TMve gone 150 feet, and she TMs still crawling, said George.

George and his team at South Padre Island TMs Sea Turtle Inc. patrol 32 miles on the island and 7 miles on Boca Chica Beach.

They hope to find a treasure of turtle eggs.

In just one nest, patrollers found 105 eggs, an amount that George said is above normal.

Kemp TMs Ridley Sea Turtles are the smallest and most endangered species of sea turtle.

Only 1 in 300 make it to adulthood, and Sea Turtle Inc. is trying to change that.

The most important means of helping them recover is to protect the female and her eggs, said George.

Once the patrol team finds the eggs, they take them to a corral to keep them safe from predators.

We TMve been breaking records year after year after year in terms of the number of nests we TMve had, said George.

Last year, the patrollers found 200 nests on South Padre Island TMs beaches.

This year, they TMre aiming for at least 50 more.

As for the April 20th oil spill in Louisiana and how that affected the turtles on this side of the Gulf?

To my knowledge, no oil related turtles washing up on the Texas coast, said George.

George said he thinks the female turtles made their way over here to lay their eggs before the spill, and he hopes once the babies hatch, they can make their way throughout the Gulf safely.