THEY are creatures of stunning beauty, but our turtles have been through a tough period.
Sick and injured turtles in Gladstone Harbour have been given a new chance for survival, with the creation of a new rehab centre.
The Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is now operational and has taken in nine vulnerable turtles since opening in March.
The project was launched by McCoskers Contractors, under the leadership of Bob McCosker.
"They are so graceful," Mr McCosker said.
"If you get one of them, and then it gets away from you, they are just like a bird flying away."
Yesterday marked an historic moment for the centre, as it released its first rehabilitated turtle back into the wild.
Gizmo the turtle was gently placed in the harbour and, after taking one second to find her bearings, glided away to a new life.
The past 12 months have been tough for turtles in Queensland.
Hundreds have died in the Gladstone region since seagrass was damaged by last year's floods.
The turtles have a variety of health problems, including injuries from boat strikes and malnourishment after a year of damaged seagrass meadows.
Mr McCosker and the rest of the volunteers are keen to keep helping the turtles.
Lend a hand
Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre needs volunteers. You can work any day of the week, leaving Gladstone Marina at 2pm and arriving back at 6.30pm. Phone Amanda McCosker on 4970 0124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org