It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle because the number of nests found so far this season is approaching record territory. As of Tuesday, staff at Sea Turtle Inc. (STI) had reported finding 68 Kemp’s ridley nests and one loggerhead nest. That’s just one Kemp’s ridley nest shy of the record of 69 nests, which was set in 2012. That year, a total of 72 sea turtle nests were found, including one loggerhead and two green sea turtle nests.
In all, over 6,500 eggs have been collected and placed in the safety of a corral watched over around the clock by vigilant STI staff and volunteers. According to information released by STI, the first nest — containing 79 eggs — was found by a Cameron County worker between Beach Accesses 5 and 6 on April 22. Since then, it’s been a steady stream of nests found by STI staff and volunteers, County employees, and even tourists.