South Padre Island is a resort town off the southern coast of Texas. With its warm Gulf waters and long stretches of sand, it’s a prime vacation destination.
If you’re coming to the island — plan for boating, birdwatching, fishing, and swimming, but don’t forget a visit to the famous turtle sanctuary!
Founded in 1977 by Ila Fox Loetscher, also known as “The Turtle Lady of South Padre Island,” Sea Turtle Inc. is an organization that was formed to protect and recover the endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. Today, the sanctuary is built upon three parts: education, rehabilitation, and conservation.
Sea Turtle Inc. welcomes visitors year-round from all over the world to learn about the turtles through presentations and feedings. You can arrange a private tour or dive right into the group activities. Our facility is self-guided, so visitors can navigate through the centers as they’d like.
Educational presentations known as “Turtle Talks” are offered throughout the day and serve to educate the public about the mission of the company. The talks begin daily at 11:00 am in the outdoor amphitheater and presentations last about 20-30 minutes. Topics and additional talks for each day vary, though Turtle Talks often cover what species of sea turtles call the South Padre Island area their home.
In addition to Turtle Talks, a typical day includes breakfast for the residents, meeting the turtles’ lifeguards, and a patient enrichment feeding.
Of course, no trip to the sanctuary would be complete without meeting the residents themselves! Current residents include turtles like Merry Christmas — a friendly Atlantic Green Sea Turtle and the only mature female sea turtle at the sanctuary. There’s also Fred, a
Loggerhead Sea Turtle who has been a permanent resident since 1999. Along with Hang Ten, Allison, and Gerry, these five rescued wonders make up the turtle pack.
At Sea Turtle, Inc. their noble mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles. They educate the public and also assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species. To support them is to support an integral part of South Padre Island — our precious marine life.
Through public donations, this nonprofit can keep up with all the turtles’ needs. The donations also support educational programs on-site and fund internship and scholarship programs for biology students.
We like to think of a visit to the sanctuary as a vacation activity with a purpose. And, as a bonus, if you really fall in love with these sea-dwelling reptiles, as we’re sure you will, you
As you make plans for your next vacation to the coastal gem of South Padre Island, put Beach Park Texas on your vacation bucket list. With easy access to the beach, premier water attractions, and a year-round, full-service restaurant — we have everything you need for a fun few days in the sun.
From all of us at Beach Park Texas, thanks for reading! We can’t wait to welcome you to our sea-turtle filled haven soon.