VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — 21 live sea turtle hatchlings were released last week at Croatan Beach.
Officials from the Virginia Aquarium say they’ve been monitoring the green sea turtle nest that was laid overnight between July 11 and 12. An excavation on September 15 recovered 21 live hatchlings that were later released to the ocean after dark.
According to the Virginia Aquarium, this is the third sea turtle nest recorded in the state this year and is the latest to hatch in Hampton Roads.
Trained volunteers from the facility monitored the nest over the last several weeks to record all hatchlings as well as possible disoriented hatchlings from nearby light sources.
Hatchings typically happen fairly quickly as the turtles reach the water within a 30-minute window.
However, officials say the high tide affected this specific nest and interfered with the turtles ability to emerge.
Once they got approval from the state and federal permitting agencies, the Aquarium intervened and was able to release the 21 hatchlings.
Along with the green turtle nest, there was also a loggerhead and Kemp’s ridley nest laid in southeastern Virginia this year.
If you see any sea turtle nest activity, contact the Virginia Aquarium’s 24-hour stranding hotline at 757-385-7575.