Coastal flooding strands endangered turtles


CORPUS CHRISTI — High tides and flooding associated with May storms that buffeted parts of Texas caused the stranding of about 100 young sea turtles along part of the Gulf coast, experts say.

Jesse Gilbert, Chief Operating Officer of the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, said Monday that the juvenile green sea turtles “just couldn’t beat the waves” and were tossed around along the shore. The turtles were caught in water pushed up against the dunes on Padre Island National Seashore, Gilbert said.

Wildlife officials helped gather and transport the green sea turtles, with the largest about the size of a dinner plate, to the aquarium, he said.

“They literally just looked exhausted. They were a little bit dehydrated,” said Gilbert, describing the endangered turtles.

About 80 of the rested turtles were released into the Gulf of Mexico last Thursday. Most of the rest should be returned to the water this week, he said.

Tourists and other visitors should contact wildlife officials if they spot stranded turtles along the Texas coast, Gilbert said.

“Don’t pick them up,” Gilbert said, noting the green sea turtle is a protected species.

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