|Friday, Oct 10, 2008|
On May 15, 2008, NOAA â Fisheries presented a âSpecial Recognition Awardâ to Padre Island National Seashore at the annual âCanada/Mexico/United States Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Managementâ in Veracruz, Mexico. The award reads âPresented to Padre Island National Seashore, National Park Serviceâ¦In recognition of your dedicated and sustained efforts to recover the Kempâs Ridley Sea Turtle, 2008â. During the presentation, Rebecca Lent, Director, OIA â Fisheries for NOAA commented that âwe couldnât do it without our sister agency, the National Park Serviceâ¦â and then went on to read the award. Karen Taylor-Goodrich, NPS Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection, accepted the award on behalf of Padre Island National Seashore.
National Seashore employees and volunteers working with this project were in the midst of a record breaking year for nesting by endangered Kempâs ridley turtles on the Texas coast. This was the fifth consecutive year that a record number of Kempâs ridley nests were documented since record keeping began in Texas during the late 1970s. A bi-national, multi-agency effort has been ongoing since 1978 to help the recover the population. Part of this effort is a project to re-establish nesting at Padre Island National Seashore to form a secondary nesting colony as a safeguard for the species which nests primarily in Mexico. An average of 55% of the Kempâs ridley nests found in the U.S. each year are located at the National Seashore, making it the most important nesting beach for this species in the U.S. During 2008, 195 Kempâs ridley nests were found in Texas, up from only 19 nests documented in 2003. From nests incubated at the National Seashore this year, over 11,700 hatchlings were released and successfully entered the surf.