More than 500 baby sea turtles released off Fla.

Sep 05, 2013 by Suzette Laboy
A young loggerhead turtle crawls through a pile of others waiting to be released Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, into the Altantic Ocean near Boca Raton, Fla. Coast Guard officials helped Melanie Stadler, a marine scientist with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, release almost 500 sea turtle hatchlings into the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

More than 500 sea turtle hatchlings have been released onto sea beds off Florida's Atlantic Coast, where the turtles have a better chance to survive.

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted Thursday with the release about six miles off the coast of Boca Raton. It says it's committed to protecting endangered species such as .

Chief Cannon Schider-Heisel says such releases are "very important for the to get a chance."

Marine scientist Melanie Stadler with the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center says releasing the turtles was bittersweet because she had pulled many out of a nest herself. But she says that knowing the turtles are healthy and ready to go "is pretty awesome."

Two young green sea turtles are examined before they are released Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, off the coast of Boca Raton, Fla. Coast Guard officials helped Melanie Stadler, a marine scientist with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, release almost 500 sea turtle hatchlings into the Atlantic Ocean. The 311 loggerhead and 194 green sea turtle hatchlings come from turtle nests throughout Florida.(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

A young loggerhead turtle crawls through a pile of others waiting to be released Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, into the Altantic Ocean near Boca Raton, Fla. Coast Guard officials helped Melanie Stadler, a marine scientist with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, release almost 500 sea turtle hatchlings into the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

The hatchlings come from turtle nests from beaches throughout Florida.

Explore further: Call for 'citizen scientists' to help protect sea turtles

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