Photo: Five sea turtle hatchlings that were rescued before, during and after Hurricane Irma. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton released thousands of the baby sea turtles into the ocean Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

BOCA RATON, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Lulu Ramadan —

Thousands of baby sea turtles washed ashore along Florida’s coastline when Hurricane Irma brought rough winds and choppy waters last week.

The hatchlings were rescued and collected by South Florida residents, turtle rehabilitation programs and other groups. On Friday, more than 2,500 rescued turtles were released by Boca Raton’s Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials drove the state collecting rescued sea turtles from Palm Beach, Brevard, Broward counties and others, according to Gumbo Limbo.

Baby Sea Turtles Released

The turtles were brought to Gumbo Limbo, then released by the staff in Boca Raton. They captured part of the release on video, which they shared on the center’s Facebook page.

baby sea turtles

Staff of Boca Raton’s Gumbo Limbo Nature Center release rescued baby sea turtles into the ocean on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Courtesy)

“All 2500+ sea turtles returned to the “weed line” that provides their habitat for the first few years of their lives,” the nature center wrote on Facebook. “Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is proud to have been a part of this massive effort to return the sea turtles affected by Hurricane Irma to the sea.”