Two young green sea turtles are examined before they are released Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, off the coast of Boca Raton, Fla. Coast Guard officials helped Melanie Stadler, a marine scientist with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, release almost 500 sea turtle hatchlings into the Atlantic Ocean. The 311 loggerhead and 194 green sea turtle hatchlings come from turtle nests throughout Florida.(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)AP2013
U.S. Coast Guard and Gumbo Limbo Nature Center personnel released 505 sea turtle hatchlings in the Atlantic off Boca Raton, Florida, after keeping the creatures in captivity to help ensure their survival, officials said.
The nature center, which works to protect sea turtles, requested assistance in doing the large release, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center cared for the eggs until the hatchlings could be released in the Atlantic on Thursday around 1:30 p.m.
The 311 loggerheads and 194 green sea turtles were taken offshore in coolers and released by hand on the seaweed beds off Boca Raton, where they will have a higher chance of survival.
Loggerhead sea turtles are listed as threatened species, while green sea turtles are classified as endangered species.
The Coast Guard said environmental protection was one of its missions and it welcomed the opportunity to work with the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.
The world's oceans are home to seven species of sea turtles, all of which are endangered due to human activity.
Numerous environmental groups around the world are working to educate the public about the threats faced by sea turtles.