It's been a long journey, but on Tuesday 31 endangered and threatened sea turtles that were found on Cape Cod last year were released into the warm waters off of Florida.
Staff at the New England Aquarium's rescue center in Quincy spent the last few months rehabilitating the turtles, the aquarium said.
The turtles departed for warmer waters on Monday, leaving Massachusetts for a near continuous 24-hour drive down the East Coast. They were released into the surf near a state park in Jacksonville, Fla.
The sea turtles washed up on Massachusetts beaches last November and December because of hypothermia. They were collected by staff and volunteers at the Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The aquarium said that "cold-stunned" sea turtles strand every late autumn on Cape Cod beaches.
Since 1990 the aquarium has treated and released more than 1,000 endangered and threatened sea turtles.