September Newsletter 2015

CEO Chatter with Jack Lighton

Dear Friends of LMC:
As we transition into our fall portfolio of programs, we have much to share with you regarding LMC and our vision, “to be recognized locally and internationally as the leading authority in sea turtle education, research, and rehabilitation.”

Earlier this summer, due to the very generous support from our donors, LMC’s Gordon and Patricia Gray Sea Turtle Hospital procured the world’s most advanced ultrasound and endoscope for sea turtles. This world-class equipment will allow us to better diagnose and treat our sea turtle patients, returning more healthy sea turtles back into the beautiful ocean. Not only will this equipment allow us to improve our patients’ diagnosis, the new equipment now firmly positions LMC’s sea turtle hospital as a “Center of Excellence” for sea turtle health care. This will help us attract visiting veterinarians, students, and researchers from around the globe.

World class equipment is only one piece of the puzzle. Individuals bring our campus to life each and every day. I am very proud of our amazing team of staff and volunteers who are the true heart and soul of our center. It is with the help and support of our team and donors that LMC is able to educate guests from around the globe on the importance of ocean and sea turtle conservation.

On behalf of our team, I thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. I look forward to visiting with you on campus or at one of our many upcoming events.

With Gratitude,

Jack Lighton, LMC President & CEO

World’s Most Advanced Endoscope Used to Diagnose Breathing Problems with Sea Turtle Patient, Nikki

Nikki is a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle that was brought to LMC’s sea turtle hospital to determine what was causing a loud wheezing/breathing problem. LMC’s veterinarian, Dr. Charles Manire, sedated Nikki and used the center’s new advanced Karl Storz endoscope to look into the respiratory tract. Dr. Manire found a large plug of tissue in the trachea which was blocking about 90% of the turtle’s airway.

The endoscope allowed our surgical team to remove the plug from the trachea, making it much easier for Nikki to breathe. LMC sent this tissue to Dr. Brian Stacy, a veterinary pathologist with NOAA Fisheries in Gainesville, Florida. Dr. Stacy determined that the tissue was actually tracheal cartilage, suggesting that there was probably trauma to the trachea. The most likely cause of this damage would be from a fishing hook.


Now that the turtle is breathing better, we have used the endoscope to determine the extent of the trauma to the trachea. The second scope of Nikki revealed minimal damage to the esophagus, and relatively healthy bronchi and lungs. Because of this ultra-advanced equipment we believe our team will be able to custom tailor a unique treatment plan for Nikki which will likely allow this sea turtle to completely recover. It is because of advanced equipment and highly trained staff and volunteers that LMC is more capable to offer the best medical care to our patients.

*Special thanks to Robert J. Trulaske Jr. Family Foundation, Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation, and Fleming Family Foundation for their generous donations towards the endoscope.

Go Blue Awards Finalists to be Announced

The nominations are in! Join us next Monday as we announce our ocean hero finalists for the Go Blue AwardsThe social will be held on Monday, September 21, at PGA National Resort & Spa, starting at 5:30 p.m. The night will also serve as a kick-off for the Seventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon. This is an exclusive complimentary event for Blue Friends Society members. Guest fee is $25. *Includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. You can RSVP to Lynne at or call Veronica at 561-627-8280 ext. 103.

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The winners in each category will be revealed at the luncheon on Friday, November 6, at PGA National Resort & Spa, featuring Joel Sartore, renowned National Geographic photographer. WPTV News Channel 5 Meteorologist, Glenn Glazer, will once again emcee the event.


2014 Go Blue Awards Winners

The Eleanor Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award: recognizes a person who exemplifies a lifelong, extraordinary commitment to marine conservation through their work or volunteer activities, that are similar to Eleanor Fletcher, founder of LMC.
The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award: recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through volunteer related activities.
The Blue Friend of the Year Award: recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through work related activities.
The Blue Hatchling Youth Award: recognizes a person under the age of 17 who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through volunteer related activities.
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.
You can purchase your tickets to the luncheon here.

Sea Turtle Nesting Update

The nesting turtles are still here! Nesting has slowed down quite a bit within the last month, but our research team is still recording new sea turtle nests on a daily basis. As of September 15, we have recorded 16,327 nests along our survey area. Our previous record was 13,173 nests as recorded in 2012.

Below is a snapshot of this season’s nest numbers from April 1 – August 31 for leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles:

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As you can see from this table, each species of sea turtle has a peak nesting period. The leatherback sea turtles are the first to nest in Florida and their peak nesting period this season was between mid-May and early June. The loggerhead sea turtles began nesting in April and their peak was from June to July this year. The last to nest are the green sea turtles. The green turtles began nesting in May this season and their peak nesting period was between late June and early August.

Monofilament Recycling

Thanks to responsible anglers, LMC staff recently filled a shipping box with one month’s worth of cleaned, recycled monofilament line from the Juno Beach Pier! This line will be sent to the Berkley Recycling Center in Iowa as part of the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program. Berkley melts the line down into raw plastic pellets that can be made into new products such as tackle boxes, spools, and fish habitats.

Betsy Smith, a dedicated LMC volunteer, empties the monofilament tubes at the pier and cleans all the line of hooks and weights once each week. This effort allows us to turn monofilament line, a major potential threat to sea turtles and other marine life, into conservation-minded products.

New to LMC – you can now recycle your monofilament line on campus too! Please contact Demi Fox, LMC Outreach Coordinator, at 561-627-8280 ext. 107 or if you have any questions.

#LMCFashBash a Smashing Success

In an effort to help protect local sea turtles and support Florida’s coastal conservation, the Grand Court in The Gardens Mall was transformed into an extravagant world of couture, compassion, and personal style at Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s second annual #LMCFashBash.

On August 27, more than 250 partygoers enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from Sandy James Fine Food & Productions, an over-the-top raffle, an Instagram prize contest, and a luxurious after-party hosted at Salvatore Ferragamo. The fashionable fête, and its Shop & Share mall event, raised nearly $50,000 to help benefit Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s ongoing education and outreach programs.

The masters of ceremonies, WPTV’s Jay Cashmere and his wife Kelly Cashmere, along with Palm Beach County’s most fashionable couples, modeled signature designs from mall retailers during the event’s high-octane fashion show.

#LMCFashBash couples included:

Mo Foster & Sally Sevareid (Kool 105.5)

Tamra FitzGerald (Venue Marketing Group) & Michelle Noga (Florida Weekly)

Giovanni Di Stadio (Interiors by G) & Eve Beres (Beres Design Group)

Eddie Schmidt & Ozzie Medeiros (Table 26 Palm Beach)

Emerson Lotzia & Meagan Lotzia (ESPN 106.3 on WPTV)

Willa Cohen, Dawn Hoffman & Alice Waxman (LMC Supporters)

Brooke Raich Brooks & Paul Brooks (Tire Kingdom)

Shana Peterson Sheptak & Gail Horvath (PNC Bank)

Richard Gaff & Danni Melita (LMC Supporters)

Clayton Idle & Lindsay Idle (The Honda Classic)

#LMCFashBash corporate sponsors included PNC Bank, The Gardens Mall, Palm Beach Illustrated, and Sandy James Fine Food & Productions.

#LMCFashBash fashion sponsors included Billabong, Bloomingdale’s, Boston Proper, Brooks Brothers, Eileen Fisher, J.McLaughlin, Lacoste, Lilly Pulitzer, Luggage & More, Lululemon, Madewell, Montblanc, Pandora, Robert Graham, Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo, Swim ’n Sport, Tiffany & Co., True Religion, and Vineyard Vines.


Educator Open House

Calling all teachers! Please join us for an evening of education and discovery. At Loggerhead Marinelife Center, we are passionate about ocean conservation and exploratory learning. As a science center, we offer a wide variety of educational programs to the public, as well as field trip opportunities for public, private, and homeschools. In addition, we offer classroom visits, portable learning labs, and virtual field trips. On Thursday, September 24, starting at 5:30 p.m., LMC will be open exclusively for local educators, both formal and informal. Teachers will have the opportunity to meet our educators, tour the facility, and enjoy free food and refreshments. You can RSVP to Kerri Allen, LMC Education Manager, at or 561-627-8280 ext. 119.

Program Spotlight: Astronomy Nights

LMC’s popular stargazing program has returned for its 2nd season! In partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches, LMC will host our Astronomy Nights Program each month based on celestial events. The first class will be held on Friday, October 2nd, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The night will begin with a seminar led by the Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches, featuring highlights of the current night sky, including the Big Dipper, the galaxy and constellations. Then, join us in Loggerhead Park to peer through powerful telescopes and binoculars to get a closer look! In case of inclement weather, the presentation will be extended to include additional information on a related astronomical topic.


Cost is $10/adults, $5/children. For more information, please contact Hannah Campbell at or 561-627-8280 ext. 105.

Winter Programming Showcase Event

October marks the return of our popular winter programs! Come check out this year’s winter program offerings by visiting with us on October 18 for our Winter Program Showcase Event. Our regularly scheduled programs will be jam-packed in one day and offered for FREE from 11a.m. – 2 p.m. for children of all ages (on-campus registration is first come, first serve basis).

Programs include:

• Dr. Logger Show

• Hatchling Tales

• Mommy & Me Paint!

• Jr. Vet Lab

• Guided Tour

• Behind-the-Scenes Turtle Yard Tour

You can check out the exciting program schedule here. See you there!

Volunteer of the Month:

We would like to give a huge congratulations to LMC’s September volunteer of the month, Irene McIsaac. Irene has been volunteering for us since 2010. She has logged over 900 hours in that time! Irene spends her time at LMC as a greeter at the front desk. She also volunteers for nearly every educational special event during the year.

Irene’s favorite part about her job is the people. She absolutely loves meeting people from all over the world as they visit LMC. She also attends all of the learning opportunities offered to volunteers and attends nearly all of our volunteer training sessions and educational programs. This year, she has been attending the docent development training sessions for public programs so that she can properly promote them to our guests.
Outside of LMC, Irene loves spending time with her family and grandchildren. She enjoys visiting the many different attractions in Florida and locally here in Palm Beach County. Irene always involves her grandchildren at LMC whenever she can. They have volunteered with her at special events and participated in Take Your Child to Work Day. Irene has also helped recruit many new volunteers and supporters for our center over the years. It is because of loyal and hard-working volunteers, like Irene, that we are able to continue saving sea turtles! We thank Irene for being such a great addition to the LMC volunteer family.

Special Thanks to Our Generous Donors & Supporters:

• Thank you to Eddie Schmidt, Ozzie Medeiros, and the wonderful team at Table 26 Palm Beach, for hosting the 2015 Dine For a Cause Wine Dinner, which raised over $5,000 for LMC in just one evening. The upscale beach party featured wines from Joseph Phelps Vineyards, paired with some of the finest food in Palm Beach!


• A very special thanks to our friends at The Gardens Mall for hosting Marinelife Day and #LMCFashBash this past month! As a result of these events, over $45,000 was raised for LMC! Special thanks to FerragamoJ.McLaughlin, Lilly Pulitzer, and Madewell, who hosted additional Shop & Share events in their stores. We would also like to thank our generous sponsors, PNC Bank, Sandy James Fine Food & Productions, and Palm Beach Illustrated for contributing to the success of these events!

Cressman Bronson, Lynn Wells, Michele Jacobs, Jack Lighton

Cressman Bronson, Lynn Wells, Michele Jacobs, Jack Lighton

• Special thanks to the Rock the Ocean Foundation for their contribution of $6,000 to Loggerhead Marinelife Center. These funds were raised during the 2015 Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival. 100% of the apparel sales from the two day event were donated to conservation organizations.  LMC was  also invited to take part in the Conservation Village, which allowed us to educate attendees at Tortuga Music Festival about sea turtle and ocean conservation.