October Newsletter 2015

CEO Chatter with Jack Lighton

Dear Friends of LMC,

I am very excited to be writing to you as we are just a few short weeks away from our upcoming 7th annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon which will be held on Friday, November 6 at PGA National Resort & Spa.  This year we will welcome one of National Geographic’s most preeminent photographers, Joel Sartore, as our keynote speaker and special guest.

Joel has created Photo Ark (www.photoark.com), a breathtakingly beautiful digital collection of photographs dedicated to saving some of our planet’s most endangered animals.  We are very fortunate to have Joel deliver our keynote, he is not only a wonderful photographer, he is a compelling presenter and will help everyone realize just how important it is to create their own legacy of conservation.

I would like to thank the Co-Chairs of our upcoming event, Lynne and Pete Wells, as well as our event committee who have worked tirelessly to build the Go Blue Awards Luncheon into Palm Beach County’s premier ocean conservation awards event.

The individuals, volunteers, businesses, youth, and lifetime achievement nominees and finalists truly give us so much hope for the future of our oceans and the beautiful creatures who call them home.  I commend these extraordinary individuals and businesses for being committed to environmental conservation and supporting the important mission of Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

A handful of tickets remain so please consider joining us for this event so we can celebrate the achievements of some amazing individuals and businesses.  For more information on this exciting event, please visit our event page here:

On behalf of our entire team of staff and passionate volunteers, I thank you for your continued support for Loggerhead Marinelife Center and hope to see you on campus soon.

With Gratitude,

Jack Lighton, President & CEO

Trick or Treat at TurtleWeen (but really, just treat)

Our annual spooktacular free event is back!  TurtleWeen is being held on Saturday, October 24, from 5-8 p.m. at LMC. Bring your little ghouls and goblins trick or treating with our sea turtle patients and receive a free, turtley awesome reusable bag (while supplies last). Then peek into the Haunted Hospital, go experiment in the Mad Science Lab, and swim around the Abyssopelagic Zone to explore the weird and wonderful mysteries of the deep. A costume contest will be held at 7 p.m. and awards will be given out to children with the most fantastic costumes. There will also be Halloween-inspired crafts, activities, and face painting to get you into the TurtleWeen spirit!

Shorebird Rescue Signage Installed at Juno Beach Pier

Last month, we installed new shorebird rescue signage on the Juno Beach Pier. Now, any angler that accidentally entangles or hooks a bird while fishing will know exactly how to rescue the animal and the proper phone numbers to call for help. If you see a hooked or entangled shorebird, please call FWC at 888-404-3922.

You can help prevent shorebird interactions while fishing by following the tips below:

  • Do not feed birds extra bait or fish carcasses.
  • Properly dispose of excess and unwanted fishing line, as well as other trash.
  • Do not leave poles unattended.
  • Cover bait and don’t dump it on the ground.
  • Cast with care. Do not cast near a bird or near areas where your line may get caught.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Update

The month of October marks our research department’s final month of daily nesting surveys. Sea turtle nesting season officially ends on October 31. The sea turtles, however, do not always follow our calendar system and it is not unusual for our team to record a few nests after the official end of  season. The late-season nests are most often laid by green turtles, but, on rare occasion may be laid by a loggerhead or hawksbill sea turtle. Hawksbill sea turtles nest very rarely in Florida. This species prefers to nest along pocket beaches with dense vegetation. A few of the closest major nesting sites for hawksbills include the Bahamas, Cuba, Turks & Caicos, St. Croix, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. In previous years, our researchers have documented a few hawksbill nests within our survey area, as well as a few instances of hybrid nests that were a cross between loggerhead and hawksbill. Hybridization is not well-studied in sea turtles, however, its occurrence in sea turtles has been documented worldwide.

CM nest_101315-1

Green sea turtle nest and tracks

Our biologists will continue to be on the beach daily to monitor the remaining marked sea turtle nests for signs of hatchling emergence, erosion, tampering or predation events. This season our researchers marked and evaluated over 1,000 nests. The data collected during excavations of the marked nests will enable our researchers to calculate the number of hatchlings produced in our 9.5 miles of beach. As of October 4, there were 29 marked nests remaining on Juno, Jupiter and Tequesta beaches. This year, our researchers have recorded 16,334 nests.

LMC Presents at the 2015 AZVT Conference

• Juno Beach, Florida >>> Tacoma, Washington • This September, Nicole Montgomery, CVT, Hospital Coordinator for Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), attended the 35th Annual Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians (AZVT) Conference in Tacoma, Washington. Conferences are held at various zoos, aquariums, and wildlife rehabilitation facilities around the world. Speakers are veterinary technicians and veterinarians working in the zoological or wildlife fields. Topics will range from studies on interesting cases to new and innovative veterinary procedures. The goals of AZVT include promoting continuing education, improving professional standards, and contributing to conservation.

unnamed (23)

The 2015 conference was the second most attended conference in the history of AZVT with 144 attendees. There were 100 institutions represented including; The Florida Aquarium, Sea World, The Marine Mammal Center, the National Aquarium, and multiple zoos. Nicole Montgomery presented on “Slow Bolus Administration of Parenteral Nutrition for the Treatment of Chronic Debilitation in Sea Turtles.” This is a new technique created at LMC for administering parenteral nutrition to critically ill sea turtles. This technique is saving the lives of many endangered sea turtles that would not have survived otherwise. The presentation was well received with multiple questions and comments following the lecture. Several facilities have reached out to the veterinary staff at LMC to learn more about this life-saving technique and to share this information with their veterinary staff.  TheAZVT conference is another great place to share the wonderful work done at LMC.

Kid’s Fishing Program Launches at Juno Beach Pier

Do you know an aspiring young angler?  Join us for a free Kid’s Fishing Program at the Juno Beach Pier on November 15th or December 13th!  Participants will learn basic techniques for fishing from both a beach and a fishing pier including knot tying, casting, species identification, and proper release protocols.  In addition to fishing skills, participants will learn to be ethical anglers.  Instructors will cover habitat protection, sea turtle rescue, and the importance of collecting and recycling monofilament fishing line.  Participants will leave with the knowledge and experience necessary to serve as responsible anglers.  To reserve a spot in a fishing program, please contact Demi at 561-627-8280 ext. 107 or dfox@marinelife.org.  Space is limited.

Friday Afternoon Public Guided Tours


You asked and we listened! Due to popular demand, we are now offering Friday afternoon Public Guided Tours year-round. Participants will receive VIP treatment and the inside scoop on all things sea turtle on this exclusive tour of LMC. Led by an experienced LMC guide, you will be introduced to Florida’s five native sea turtle species, meet and greet our 65 million year old Archelon sea turtle replica in the Exhibit Hall, and get up-close and personal with a behind-the-gate tour of our sea turtle yard. A Public Guided Tour is the absolute best way to get a full experience at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, so don’t miss out! Pre-registration is on-campus only and granted on a first-come first-served basis in our Gift Store. For more information about our regularly scheduled programming, please visit www.marinelife.org/experiences. Cost: $7/adult; $5/child

Program Spotlight: Hammock Hikes

‘Tis the season to get outdoors and enjoy the cooler Florida weather! We’re celebrating Florida Fall by offering a seasonal Hammock Hike – a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors while learning about the native flora and fauna of Florida. An experienced naturalist will lead participants on a tour of Florida’s Tropical Hardwood Hammock, while guests learn about the birds in the trees all the way to the grains of sand on the beach. See what’s moving and what’s blooming every Friday at 10:30am! Learn more about the Hammock Hike here (visitor experiences page)! Cost is $5/person, geared towards ages 12+. For more information, please contact Hannah Campbell at hcampbell@marinelife.org or 561-627-8280 ext. 105.IMG_5127

Volunteer Spotlight:

We would like to give huge congratulations to LMC’s October volunteer of the month, Kelly Bragg! Kelly started volunteering in January of this year and has already donated over 130 hours. Kelly volunteers every Saturday afternoon in the gift store. Saturdays tend to be one of our busiest times in the gift store. She is very reliable, friendly and helpful. Kelly also volunteers for sea turtle releases and always helps out in the gift store afterward when we have large crowds.

Kelly Bragg

Twenty years ago, Kelly (who lived in Madison, Wisconsin) decided she wanted to find warmer weather. Florida was calling her name. She has worked in college and professional sports, resulting in a love for football and the Green Bay Packers. She also enjoys boating, collecting rocks and shopping (especially in the LMC gift store).  It is because of loyal and kind volunteers, like Kelly, that we are able to continue saving sea turtles! We thank Kelly for being such a great addition to the LMC volunteer family.

Special Thanks to Our Generous Donors & Supporters:

• Special thanks to our friends, George & Linda Robb, at Tri Bike Run for hosting the Frank Cook Memorial Triathlon this past June. The proceeds from this local super-sprint triathlon were donated to LMC!


• In memory of Terry Madoch, a long-time visitor and supporter of LMC, family and friends have been donating funds to the center. We thank each and every one of them for honoring Terry’s legacy in this way.

• Thank you to the Town of Juno Beach for donating $2,500 to support the center’s efforts.


• Family and friends have been donating funds to the center in memory of Mason Walsh Jr., a resident of Jupiter, Florida and Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Mason leaves behind his wife, Gil, and his children Connie and Richard. Mason will be remembered as a wonderful person who worked tirelessly for environmental conservation and preservation.

Clean Our Beaches this Saturday!

We (and all marine life) need your help! Join us for our monthly beach clean-up this Saturday, October 17. Please bring a bucket and meet at LMC’s back gate at 8 a.m. We will clean the beach for an hour and then return to LMC to enjoy a light breakfast, courtesy of Whole Foods Market – Palm Beach Gardens. Being that this is a record-breaking sea turtle nesting season, we need to keep our local beaches clean. Special thanks to October’s sponsor: RBC Wealth Management.

You can RSVP to Lynne Wells at bluefriends@marinelife.org.