Thousands of sea turtles have rescued from the icy coastline in Texas as cold weather continues unabated. Some parts of the southern state of Texas are experiencing severe cold weather of -18 degrees Celsius (0ºF) on Sunday, February 14, and temperatures expected to be extremely low this week. As cold-blooded reptiles, sea turtles can be stunned and lazy if they are exposed cold temperatures for long periods and eventually washed off the coast. They are particularly at risk for predators and boat accidents at this time in winter-shocked conditions.
After thousands of endangered turtles found off the south coast of Texas this recent winter, a massive community effort has launched to conserve some of these problem-free marine reptiles. On Tuesday night, conservation group Sea Turtle Inc., based on South Pad Island, said they had saved more than 2,500 turtles. They later told CBS News on Wednesday morning that they had rescued more than 4000 turtles. Volunteers behind the effort tweeted on Tuesday that their turtle rescue center space had become too small, forcing them temporarily house many turtles stored in the city at the South Pad Island Convention Center.
Perhaps more notable is the fact that most of this effort made across the power cuts that covered this state. “It’s unprecedented,” Wendy Knight, executive director of Sea Turtle Inc., told the Washington Post. “A cold stun like this could have the potential to erase decades of hard work and we’re going through it without any energy in our efforts and a unique, more catastrophic challenge.”
The Green Sea Turtle of Texas is the most common sea turtle, although this species found throughout the tropical and subtropical oceans around the world. Other species of Texan water sea turtles include the frequent sea turtles, leatherbacks, hawksbill sea turtles, and Camp ridley sea turtles.
The average temperature in February was 14ºC (57ºF) in Houston, on the southeastern coast of the city of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. This year, however, much of Texas has trapped in its coldest temperatures for more than 30 years. This devastating weather brought down from the Arctic to the winds. As explained by the Associated Press, cold air is usually concentrated at the North Pole in a polar vortex, a region of depression that rotates above the North Pole. Normally, the Arctic air kept here by a system of depressions, but the recent upheaval has caused the cold air to “escape” and move toward the southern hemisphere of the United States. For some, the weather has proved disastrous. The blackouts left millions of homes and businesses without electricity, with the New York Times reporting that at least 23 people died in or after the storm.