Sunflower Beach is located on Mustang Island, which is also the northernmost nesting area of the the world's most endangered species of sea turtle, the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle. Each May and June brings the migration of thousands of these endangered female turtles, which nest once every two years, and lay one to four groups (clutches) of 50-130 eggs in the sand - from Mustang Island to Veracruz, Mexico. Extensive conservation efforts have been put in place at Padre Island National Seashore to protect these nesting females and the thousands of tiny offspring that emerge from their sandy nests and attempt to make their way quickly to the water. Hundreds of volunteers monitor the Mustang Island and Padre Island beaches in the spring to watch for the first nests and hatchlings, and protect the Kemp's Ridley from cars, predators and enthusiastic observers. These tiny turtles grow to a length of 23-27 inches and average 100 pounds. The males of the species spend their entire lives at sea!
Visit us on Beach Road 1 in Port Aransas, and then take a short drive south from Sunflower Beach to learn more about this unique species and the local efforts to conserve these sea turtles at the Visitors Center in Padre Island National Seashore. Another reason we love this very special part of Texas!