More than 500 baby sea turtles released off Fla.September 5th, 2013 by Suzette Laboy in Biology / Ecology
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 sea turtles.
Chief Cannon Schider-Heisel says such releases are "very important for the turtles 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."
The hatchlings come from turtle nests from beaches throughout Florida.
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