The first sea turtle hatchlings in Mote Marine Laboratory’s monitoring area (Longboat Key through Venice) emerged in mid-June 2021.

The first hatch of the season always brings us joy, but this one was bittersweet. Hatchlings from this Venice nest crawled the wrong direction and failed to reach the ocean—they “disoriented”—due to artificial lights visible from the beach.

Rescued hatchlings were brought to Mote’s Hatchling Hospital so they could recover their energy and get ready for release into the ocean.

Now is the time to review our sea turtle-friendly tips and protect these little ones through the end of nesting season, Oct. 31.

Visitors to Mote Aquarium can peek into our Hatchling Hospital to see if we have any new patients. While our goal is to return these tiny turtles to the ocean as soon as they’re ready, we typically have many patients in and out each summer. Plan your visit!