Turtle Island Restoration Network is hosting our 2nd Annual 5k Run on Galveston Island! The Hatchling Hustle is a 5K run and 1 mile fun walk on Babe’s Beach, March 23, 2024. Everyone is welcome, whether you are an avid runner or you like strolling on the beach with family and friends. The Hatchling Hustle is not only a great way to get active but to learn more about the endangered sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico and the upcoming sea turtle nesting season that occurs all along our Texas Coast. 

Turtle Island Restoration Network is a non-profit organization that focuses on ocean and watershed conservation and restoration worldwide! We have projects taking place in the Gulf of Mexico, along with work being done in the Cocos Islands and at our headquarters in Olema, California. Over the years we have assisted in making the Kemp’s ridley the Texas State Sea Turtle, implementing Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) in shrimping boats, establishing the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway, restoring a critical creek for coho salmon at the California San Geronimo site, and much more. 

As we continue our mission to achieve a more blue-green planet, we make education and outreach a top priority. The upcoming Hatchling Hustle will focus on this year’s sea turtle nesting season that takes place April 1 through mid-July. Our state sea turtle nests all along the Texas coast and even further south along the Mexico coast. The Kemp’s ridley, and the other 4 sea turtle species found in the Gulf of Mexico, all of which are threatened or endangered, face many threats in the water like bycatch and plastic pollution. There are also many dangers when the female turtles nest on the beaches, including predators and vehicles. 

If you are fortunate to see a sea turtle emerging from the gulf and crawling ashore to lay her eggs in the base of the dune. Please do not disturb the turtle in any way, but protect her by keeping people, dogs and vehicles a safe distance from her.  Anyone spotting a nesting sea turtle should immediately call 866-TURTLE5/866-887-8535 to report the turtle.

You may find the turtle tracks in the sand. The turtle’s crawl pattern looks like alternating comma shaped marks with a smooth belly drag in the center and possibly a tail mark. You may discover two sets of tracks, one incoming and one outgoing.  If you are lucky to discover the tracks please call 1-866-TURTLE5 to report your finding.

To learn more about sea turtles and how you can play a role in their nesting season, join us on March 23rd at the Hatchling Hustle. This event is an excellent opportunity to not only help sea turtles and our mission, but to be a part of a unifying community event on Galveston Island. Register now at https://seaturtles.org/hatchlinghustle/