The endangered loggerhead sea turtle has finally bred successfully on Maryland shores.

The National Park Service announced late last week that about 100 baby loggerhead sea turtles recently hatched and swam out into the open Atlantic. This wasn’t the first batch to attempt the feat, but they were the first to do it successfully, officials say.

“We are thrilled with this outcome,” said Bill Hulslander, chief of resource management for Assateague Island National Seashore, in a statement. “This event underscores the increasing importance of undeveloped beaches along Assateague Island to sea turtles and other federally threatened and endangered species.”

Loggerheads typically mate from late March to early June, and hopeful turtle moms lay their eggs between late April and early September, according to NOAA Fisheries. The eggs take about two months to hatch.

The successful hatchings on Assateague’s National Seashore – a roughly 20-mile stretch of coastline managed by the federal government – came as a surprise, since loggerheads typically only nest in the United States between Florida and North Carolina, and rarely above Virginia.

Read the complete story at Baltimore Fishbowl.

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