July Newsletter 2015

CEO Chatter with Jack Lighton

Dear Friends of LMC:

Greetings from Juno Beach, Florida! Summertime temps have heated up just in time for a record-setting sea turtle nesting season! Temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up –  LMC’s busy social schedule is rapidly unfolding and we will greet our “social season” with a number of very important community events.  One of these events is our Seventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon at PGA National Resort & Spa on Friday, November 6. This event is the largest ocean conservation awards luncheon of its kind in Palm Beach County and welcomes over 500 guests.

Nominations for our Go Blue Awards opened this week, and this is your opportunity to nominate a true ocean hero for their tireless work to promote ocean conservation.  The award categories are as follows: Eleanor Fletcher Award (Lifetime Achievement), Blue Ambassador Award (Volunteerism), Blue Friend (Personal accomplishments), Blue Hatchling Award (Youth), and Blue Business Award (Business achievements in conservation).

Protecting wildlife and promoting conservation of our oceans and marine life takes a interconnected global network. I encourage you to nominate a person or business who is truly deserving of tremendous recognition for their work to promote conservation.

On behalf of our entire team here at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, I thank you for your continued support and passion for our work.

With Gratitude,

Jack Lighton, President & CEO.

Do You Know an Ocean Hero? Nominate Them Today!


The man behind these wise words is none other than Joel Sartore, world-renowned photographer, speaker, author, teacher and 20-year contributor to National Geographic magazine. He is also this year’s keynote speaker for LMC’s 2015 Go Blue Awards. These awards are given annually to four individuals and a business that have promoted, implemented, or contributed to a “blue” lifestyle of ocean conservation. Nominations can be made starting July 15 and ending on August 28. Finalists will be announced on September 24 at the Blue Friends Society social event at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. To nominate an individual or business, click here. 

Go Blue Awards Nominations are open to the public and are judged by an independent panel of judges. The esteemed panel of  judges that will select this year’s finalists and winners includes; Gary Adkison– U.S. Shark Foundation, Director; Fabien Cousteau, World Renowned Ocean Conservationist & Aquanaut, 2014 Go Blue Keynote Speaker; Jim Harvey – Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Co-Chairman;  Greg Marshall – National Geographic Society, Inventor & Scientist; Sally Murray – Daughter of LMC Founder, Eleanor Fletcher;  Susan Murray – Oceana Deputy Vice President U.S. Pacific, Granddaughter of LMC Founder, Eleanor Fletcher; Jim Toomey – and Dr. Edie Widder – Ocean Research & Conservation Association, President/CEO & Senior Scientist.The winners in each category will be announced Friday, November 6, 2015 at the Seventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon at PGA National Resort & Spa featuring keynote speaker, Joel Sartore.

Nominations for the 2015 Go Blue Awards are based on several criteria. 

The Eleanor Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a person who exemplifies a lifelong, extraordinary commitment to marine conservation education through their work or volunteer activities that are similar to Eleanor Fletcher, founder of LMC.


Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, 2014 Eleanor Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Winner

The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through volunteer related activities.


Laura Eldredge, 2015 Blue Ambassador of the Year Winner 

The Blue Friend of the Year Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through work related activities.


Captain Rich Brochu, 2015 Blue Friend of the Year Winner

The Blue Hatchling Youth Award recognizes a person under the age of 17 who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer related activities.

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Derek Petrisko, Landon Petrisko, and Christian Petrisko, 2015 Blue Hatchling Youth Award Winners

The Blue Business of the Year Award recognizes a business that has made outstanding contributions toward promoting conservation or restoration of marine life and/or marine ecosystems through their practices, products, or technology.


Worth Avenue Association, 2015 Blue Business of the Year Award Winner

For more information on the Go Blue Awards or to learn more about sponsoring the luncheon, please visit www.marinelife.org/bluefriends. 

Teaching in Taiwan (Sea Turtle Research & Rehab Style)

At Loggerhead Marinelife Center, we have a goal to share our findings in sea turtle research and rehabilitation worldwide. As part of this goal, LMC sent two staff members to Taiwan to share these findings. Adrienne McCracken, Field Operations Manager, and Nicole Montgomery, Hospital Coordinator, made the trek to Taiwan to present on LMC’s operations, research, and innovative rehabilitation techniques at the first ever International Symposium on Research/Conservation and Future Prospect of Sea Turtles in Kaoshiung, Taiwan. The symposium lasted two days and included speakers from Italy, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, China and the United States.

IMG_4714IMG_4683The goal of the symposium was to share expertise on both knowledge and valuable experiences with the field ecologists, veterinarians, students and relevant officials of Taiwan. Taiwan has been conducting sea turtle research and conservation for over 23 years. The topic of novel technologies, new concepts and tools available in this field were a focal point for this symposium. These are indispensable elements that the Taiwanese wish to use or acquire in the future. This will allow them to be as proficient and successful in the conservation and rehabilitation of sea turtles as the facilities using modern technology.

Adrienne and Nicole spoke on education, research, rehabilitation, retail and our day-to-day operations. Adrienne focused on the high density sea turtle nesting beaches and research operations. Nicole focused on the highly technical equipment and innovative treatment techniques used for rehabilitation in sea turtles. The host of the conference, Dr. I-Jiunn Cheng, and many other speakers approached Adrienne and Nicole afterwards to express how impressed they were with LMC – specifically the collaboration between different departments.

Hatchling Release Program

What are small, adorable, and have four tiny flippers? Sea turtle hatchlings! Starting in August, we are launching a brand new program that enables guests to witness newly hatched sea turtles take their first crawls back into the ocean. During the Hatchling Release program, guests will enjoy an evening tour of our Turtle Yard to see current hatchlings undergoing rehabilitation, learn about hatchling strengths and challenges, and join LMC permitted staff members release sea turtle hatchlings back into their ocean home.


The hatchlings that will be released come from nests excavated earlier in the day by our research team. Hatchling releases are $17/person or $12/person for LMC members. Walk-ins are a flat rate of $20, and a spot is not guaranteed. All individuals, including children, are required to pre-register online to reserve their spot. Children must be 8 years or older to attend a hatchling release and all participants must be able to walk up to half a mile. We can only accommodate 30 people per night and dates fill up quickly. Stay tuned to Facebook for the registration link! 

Marinelife Day at The Gardens Mall is Back

For the fourth year in a row, LMC will transform The Grand Court of The Gardens Mall into a mini sea turtle and ocean conservation center. This free event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 22. Turtle-loving tots are sure to enjoy this interactive day focused on their favorite reptile! There will be presentations on sea turtles and marine life that are both fun and educational. Different interactive stations will be set up based on sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education, and conservation themes. Socializing and photos with the lovable LMC mascot, Fletch, along with prizes and giveaways will take place during this family-friendly event.   10626665_10152350387331973_6102758681860323998_n

Additionally, The Gardens Mall will donate 5% of the day’s total, logged shopping receipts back to Loggerhead Marinelfie Center. So if you go shopping at The Gardens Mall on August 22, make sure to bring your receipts to Guest Services. You’ll be helping the turtles by shopping. What could be better than that?!

#LMCFashBash 2015

Saving sea turtles will always be in style! On Thursday, August 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Grand Court at The Gardens Mall will transform into an extravagant world of couture, compassion, and personal style at #LMCFashBash 2015. The stylish set of Palm Beach County will hit the runway to pay homage to one of south Florida’s most beloved creatures – the sea turtles. Hosted by The Gardens Mall and Loggerhead Marinelife Center, the two-hour, high-flying fashion circus will feature local personalities modeling the season’s most iconic designs by Ferragamo, Lilly Pulitzer, Saks Fifth Avenue, J. McLaughlin, and more.


The personalities walking down the FashBash runway include: 


• Mo & Sally of KOOL 105.5 FM

• Tamra Fitzgerald & Michelle Noga

• Gio DiStadio & Eve Beres

• Eddie Schmidt & Ozzie Medeiros

• Emerson Lotzia & Meagan Lotzia

• Willa Cohen, Dawn Hoffman & Alice Waxman

 • Brooke Raich & Paul Brooks

• Shana Sheptac & Gail Horvath

• Richard Gaff & Danni Melita

• Clayton Idle & Lindsay Idle

The glamorous evening will also feature gastronomic masterpieces, creative cocktails, and a luxury raffle. Guests are encouraged to post fashion-inspired photos on Instagram (#LMCFashBash) for a chance to win exciting prizes, including retailer gifts. Tickets are $50 for general admission, and $100 for VIP admission, which includes a swag bag and premium sea turtle adoption. To purchase tickets, click here.

JMB Camp – Field Experiences


Calling all teens! If your teenager loves salt, sand, and sea turtles, our one-week only Field Experiences summer camp session is not to miss! Campers will take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of our Turtle Yard and sea turtle hospital, walk in the shoes of a rehabilitation technician for a day, perform dissections, and learn what it truly means to be a sea turtle biologist! Excursions to Coral Cove park, Blowing Rocks preserve, and DuBois park will provide campers with experiences in paddleboarding, snorkeling, aquatic species collection, and collecting data in the field. There are only a few spots remaining for the 2015 season, so register online today! Field Experiences camp is for ages 14-17 ONLY and registration can be completed at www.marinelife.org/camp. For further information on the Field Experiences or Junior Marine Biologist camps, please contact Hannah Campbell, Programs Coordinator, at hcampbell@marinelife.org.

Turtle Walks – Take Your Chances on Walking In!


Turtle Walks for June and July are officially sold out, but that doesn’t mean you’ve completely missed out! If you’re still hoping to secure a spot at our nighttime Turtle Walks, you still could by walking in. Walk-ins may be admitted the night of the program in the event of a cancellation. Some weeks on Facebook, we will be announcing the opening of a select number of spots to late registrants. These typically sell fast! To know when these spots open, make sure to like us on Facebook. 

So what exactly is a Turtle Walk? A Turtle Walk is a unique program that allows our visitors to learn about (and observe) the nesting and egg-laying process of sea turtles. Experienced Loggerhead Marinelife Center scouts will patrol our designated section of Juno Beach searching for sea turtles while visitors enjoy an informative presentation on the plight of sea turtles, and take an exclusive, behind-the-gate tour to meet our current sea turtle patients. Once a loggerhead sea turtle is found and begins her egg-laying process, the group is then led down to the beach to witness this unforgettable process.

For more information on our Turtle Walk program, please visit www.marinelife.org/turtlewalk or email turtlewalks@marinelife.org. 

Program Spotlight: Junior Veterinary Lab


Do you have an aspiring veterinarian on your hands? Give your little doctor an unforgettable experience by attending one of our free regularly scheduled Jr. Vet Lab programs, offered Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. During this 30 minute program, children will learn to identify different species of sea turtles and explore the rescue to release procedures, as they successfully rehabilitate a plastic sea turtle with the guidance of an experienced LMC docent.


Each participant will receive a certificate of completion, signed by Fletch, LMC’s Dean of Turtleology. This is truly a turtley awesome LMC experience not to be missed! For more information on our Jr. Vet Lab program and other free family-friend programs, please visit our Visitor Experiences page.

Volunteer of the Month:

We would like to give a huge congratulations to LMC’s July volunteer of the month, Laura Bruce! Laura started volunteering at LMC in March 2010 and has accumulated over 2,700 hours! Since her start, Laura has helped many different departments. In the past, she helped research and administration with data entry. She also prepped fish food and fed the fish for educational programming. She has attended outreaches and helped plan volunteer parties. She was an education docent and is now a sea turtle rehabilitation volunteer. What can’t this incredible lady do?

Laura Bruce

She has been a huge asset to the rehabilitation volunteer team since beginning at LMC. She can always be called at any time and is willing to assist with various situations. The rehab team relies on Laura to assist with treatments, releases, strandings, training new rehab volunteers and more. Currently, Laura volunteers four shifts per week (two shifts as a rehab volunteer and two shifts as a Turtle Walk scout). She is also involved with the Coast Guard Auxiliary Group and LMC’s Blue Friends Society. It is because of loyal and hard-working volunteers, like Laura, that we are able to continue saving sea turtles! We thank Laura for being such a great addition to the LMC volunteer team.

Special Thanks to our Generous Donors & Supporters


• Special thanks to the students from Manatee Elementary! Nearly 200 students came and visited LMC for their Discovery Lab Field Trip. After conducting a beach clean-up on local beaches, students and family members ventured inside the center for field trips. In addition to a generous donation, students brought countless donations of supplies for our rehabilitation and education departments. We love our young ocean conservation ambassadors (pictured, above)!

• For their 1-year anniversary celebration, The Cooper chose LMC as their charity of choice. They donated over $5,000 to LMC from this event. Thank you!

• Special thanks to Mirasol Country Club! The club raised funds for LMC by asking their members to turn in used ink, electronics, and other items. They used these items to participate in the Dade Recycling Program.

• In memory of Brett Netolicky, friends and family have been donating funds to the center. We want to give a special thanks to each and every one of them!

Back to School Gift Store


These girls are ready for their first day back to school! They already have their sea turtle backpack and are now looking for some books to kick off the 2015 school year. Make sure to check out our gift store for some back to school needs. We have backpacks, books, journals, pens, and more guaranteed to make your little hatchling excited for the first day of school. We also have sea turtle adoptions for sale, which make a great gift for a teacher or your child’s classroom. Students are able to follow their adopted sea turtle’s progress online.  Not local? You can always check out our online gift store for various back to school items. We keep growing our online story every week with more and more items. Happy shopping!