Hatchlings are set some distance back from the water at a release and then set free to crawl to the surf. It is believed that they then remember the beach and will come back to this area to lay their own nest upon reaching maturity in 10-15 years.
Once hatchlings are released into the Gulf, they may fall prey to anything larger than them. Hopefully, they will be able to hide in the mats of sargassum seaweed floating in the Gulf until they are too big for most predators to eat.
Because mothers are seldom found with their nests, one method of locating a nest is to search for the distinctive sea turtle tracks--if they haven't been blown away by the wind or obscured by mounds of seaweed.