NASA releases rescued Gulf sea turtles. The Associated Press reports that fifty six newly hatched sea turtles were released on a Canaveral National Seashore Beach in Florida on July 11. The rescued hatchlings were the first batch of sea turtle eggs recued from a nest in the Florida Panhandle affected by the Gulf oil spill. The eggs were collected on June 26, 2010 and moved to a temperature controlled warehouse at NASA's Kennedy Space Center until they were ready for release. NASA reports that over 1,100 eggs have been housed at the incubation center in a mission to rescue over 70,000 eggs buried along the shores of Alabama and Florida in an effort to protect the turtles inside from the hazardous conditions along the Gulf.
Among the first group of hatchlings released on July 11, 22 were Kemp's ridley turtles, an already endangered species and others were loggerhead turtlees. Eleven eggs from the first group of hatchlings did not hatch.
This is the first time ever in the history of NASA that scientists have ever applied their skills for a mission of this scope and magnitude. Resue teams from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service, the NOAA, and NASA have deemed the rescue mission a huge success, despite the risks involved in transporting the eggs and relocating hatchlings.