KempsRidleynesting06It is sea turtle nesting season across the Gulf of Mexico and along the Texas coast. On March 30, the earliest time in any season ever, one Kemp’s ridley nest was documented at South Padre Island. Hundreds of turtles will come ashore over the nesting season.

As of this writing, we have 56 Kemp’s ridley nests along the Texas coast. And we spotted a small arribada at Padre Island National Seashore.

Joanie Steinhaus, Turtle Island Restoration Network Campaign Director, Gulf Coast, believes this may be because, “we had a very mild winter, and water temperatures hit 70 degrees early in the season. More sea turtles will start to come, rapidly.”

Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth and have been surviving for over 100 million years. These air-breathing reptiles are well suited for life in the ocean, spending their entire life at sea except when females come ashore to lay eggs.

Five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world are found in the Gulf of Mexico, the leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill, green and Kemp’s ridley.

Texas’ state sea turtle, the Kemp’s ridley, nest between April and mid-July every one to three years. Females reach sexual maturity around 10 to 12 years of age.

2018 Nesting Season Patrols
Want to help us patrol for sea turtle nests next year?
We cover over 72 miles of beach. In addition to looking for evidence of nesting turtles, our volunteers find stranded turtles, injured birds, dolphins and other coastal wildlife.
One major consideration, volunteers must attend an onsite training course in either February or March.
Email Theresa at for more information.

Turtle Island Gulf of Mexico conducts nest patrols during an entire nesting season. Volunteers patrol the beach every morning, looking for turtle tracks and nesting turtles.