Seventy-three loggerhead sea turtles hatched at an Alabama beach Wednesday and entered the waters into the northern Gulf of Mexico.
For the past two months, scientists have deemed the Gulf of Mexico unsafe for sea turtle hatchlings due to BP’s catastrophic oil spill. They have transported 28,000 eggs from Alabama and Panhandle beaches to Florida’s Atlantic coast. After incubation at a Kennedy Space Center facility, the hatchlings were released into the Atlantic at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
However, after further examination of the Gulf waters, scientists have determined the northern Gulf of Mexico is now safe for sea turtles.
According to Dianne Ingram of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “It was a good decision based on the best information we can get. It was more risky to ship them to Florida than it was to let them go straight into the water.”
The group of loggerhead hatchlings that entered the Gulf Wednesday was the first batch in Alabama allowed to enter their native waters.
For more information: AL.com.