November Newsletter 2015

CEO Chatter with Jack Lighton

Dear Friends of LMC,

As we approach Thanksgiving, there is much to be thankful for here in the Loggerhead Marinelife Center community.  Earlier this month, we hosted our Seventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon and celebrated our nominees, finalists, and award winners. We are truly thankful for this amazing group of ocean heroes who work tirelessly to promote conservation of the environment and the communities where they live or do business.

We are thankful to all who participated in our Go Blue Awards Luncheon, including this year’s guest of honor – the incredibly engaging and talented Joel Sartore, a National Geographic fellow and creator of the Photo Ark.  Joel wowed our audience with his presentation, charisma, wit, charm, and stunning imagery. Joel’s message was compelling and clear, “find what makes you passionate, and go out there and create a legacy of conservation!” I am very thankful for the support of Joel Sartore. He became enthralled with our team of passionate volunteers and staff, as well as LMC’s compelling message of ocean and sea turtle conservation.

LMC has enjoyed a year of significant milestones, due to the support and energy of our wonderful staff, volunteers, and donors.  Because of this team, LMC is welcoming a record number of guests and students to our Juno Beach campus. This allows us to educate and advocate for our sea turtle patients and their ocean home.

I am incredibly thankful for your continued support and passion in our mission and journey.  I hope to see you on campus soon.

Wishing you a holiday season filled with thankfulness and joy.

With Gratitude,

Jack Lighton, President & CEO

Record Breaking Sea Turtle Nesting Season

The 2015 sea turtle nesting season officially ended on October 31. What a season it was! The sea turtles kept our research staff quite busy this summer. Our research team recorded 42,118 crawls (nests and false crawls) from leatherback, loggerhead, and green sea turtles. All species combined, we recorded 16,335 nests. The previous record year was 2012 with 28,941 crawls and 12,173 nests for all species.

In addition to total counts, we also documented record numbers for loggerhead and green turtles:

11,685 Green Turtle Crawls (previous record: 9,159 in 2013)

30,203 Loggerhead Crawls (previous record: 25,619 in 2012)

We are still monitoring one incubating sea turtle nest that was laid on October 23 on Juno Beach. The nest looked like it was laid by a loggerhead; however, our biologists suspect it may have been laid by a hawksbill or loggerhead-hawksbill hybrid sea turtle. It is suspected to not be a loggerhead nest because of how late into the season it was laid (loggerhead sea turtles typically end their nesting season in September). The nesting sites of loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles are practically indistinguishable; consequently, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requires genetic samples to differentiate between the two turtle species. This earliest hatch date for the last nest is anticipated to be in mid-December and samples from the hatched nest will be submitted to FWC for genetic analysis. There are usually a handful of nests laid by hawksbill or loggerhead-hawksbill hybrids in the southern counties of Florida each year. As of right now, we are categorizing this nest as a loggerhead until genetics are verified by FWC.

Our staff researchers are currently working on annual reports for Juno, Jupiter-Carlin and Tequesta beaches for submittal to FWC, as well as summaries that will be available on our website. For each of our survey beaches,  researchers are compiling detailed reports that will include temporal and spatial distribution of nesting, nesting success, beach productivity, incubation periods, erosion events, and disorientation statistics for leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles. FWC will use these data to develop management practices and policies and to make predictions for nesting trends and overall population size. The LMC nesting database is one of the longest-running data sets in Florida. Our survey area hosts some of the highest density sea turtle nesting in the state, making our beaches one of the premiere research locations in the United States for nesting sea turtle studies.

2015 Go Blue Awards Winners Announced

A sold out crowd of 500 ocean conservation enthusiasts gathered at PGA National Resort & Spa for Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Seventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon and announcement of the 2015 award recipients. An independent panel of judges selected winners in five different categories. Dr. Sylvia Earle, Tracy Siani, Dr. Jon A. Moore, Lilly and Trent Tougas and The Breakers Palm Beach were named the 2015 Go Blue Awards recipients. The luncheon raised much needed funds for the center and featured world renowned National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore, as keynote speaker. WPTV News Channel 5 Meteorologist Glenn Glazer emceed the event.

Ocean conservation is a hot topic. Joel Sartore has been firing away with his camera in hopes that this important conservation will continue for years to come. Joel specializes in documenting endangered species (like sea turtles) in order to show a world worth saving. He is the founder of The Photo Ark, a multi-year documentary project to save species and habitats. During his keynote address, Joel emphasized the vital importance of conservation by taking guests on a visual journey with his stunning photographs of nearly extinct species – some that have already disappeared from our planet. In his most famous words, “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.” His latest project, Photo Ark, will be showcased at The National Geographic Museum in November.


Dr. Sylvia Earle received the Eleanor Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the found of Loggerhead Marinelife Center, which recognizes an individual who has exemplified a lifelong, extraordinary commitment to marine conservation education through their work or volunteer activities. Called “Her Deepness” by The New Yorker and The New York Times, Sylvia is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. She has vast experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations. Former chief scientist of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Sylvia is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc. and founder of Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc. and founder of Mission Blue and SEAlliance. She has a B.S. degree from Florida State University, M.S. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and 22 honorary degrees. Sylvia has authored more than 190 scientific, technical, and popular publications; lectured in over 80 countries; and appeared on hundreds of radio and television productions. She has also led more than 100 expeditions and logged over 7,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970. Sylvia is the recipient of more than a hundred national and international honors and in 2014 was named a Glamour Woman of the Year.


Tracy Siani received the Blue Ambassador of the Year Award which recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer related activities. For most of her adult life, “citizen scientist,” Tracy Siani has volunteered to help others discover and understand the majesty and complex importance of marine life. Born in Brooklyn, Tracy spent vacations with grandparents in Florida where she explored the local waters. When her parents moved to Juno Beach, she spent summers there, learning the names and habits of the resident fish. After college, she married and started a family, but returned to Florida often. One day in the Jupiter Inlet with her daughter, Tracy looked down: “I had no idea what I was standing on. The excitement that I’d lived 30 plus years without know about ‘live rocks’ turned me on to invertebrate zoology. I returned to college to take it up.” When the Sianis moved to Washington in 1975, Tracy continued her studies and began volunteering at the Smithsonian, something she continued for 20 years. While Tracy has volunteered long hours, and years, for institutions that advance the public’s understanding of marine life, her most enduring contribution may be her willingness to encourage folks to get in the water.

Dr. Jon A. Moore received the Blue Friend of the Year Award which recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in ocean conservation through work-related activities. Dr. Moore first became serious about a career in marine biology during his time at University of Arizona after learning to scuba dive on rocky reefs in the Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico. Dr. Moore then attended graduate school at Yale University to study marine fishes where he focused on a group of fishes that are known from both reefs and the deep-sea. Upon completing his Ph.D. from the university, he was hired to teach a variety of organismal biology classes at Yale University. While there, Jon co-developed and co-taught a graduate marine conservation course with Carl Safina and Steve Kellert. After teaching at Yale for 4 years, he was awarded a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship that placed him in a federal laboratory to conduct research. Dr. Moore also has thirty-one publications in journals and books. Additionally, he served on Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s board of directors for nine years. Currently, Dr. Moore is a Professor of Biology at Florida Atlantic University Wilkes Honors College.

Lilly and Trent Tougas received the Blue Hatchling Youth Award which recognizes a person under the age of 17 who has made significant contributions in marine conservation through volunteer related activities. Lilly and Trent Tougas began their conservation journeys with “bEARTHday parties,” and lemonade stands. They have worked closely with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, where they helped organize the premiere of “This is Your Oceans:Sharks” and a lionfish education/tasting event for over 300 people. Lilly and Trent formed monthly “Mayors Beach Clean-Ups,” which ran for an entire year – uniting Treasure Coast communities with their mayors. Both children have traveled to Washington D.C. multiple times to fight for Florida’s waterways. Internationally, they have worked to further ocean conservation efforts as well. In 2008, Lilly went to the Beijing Olympics as part of “Hands Across The Oceans” where people from around the world joined hands to promote environmental awareness of all bodies of water. There, Lilly received her Ambassador For the Planet medal from Wyland, while Trent was honored with his medal at a later date along with Hollywood producer, Jon Landau. Lilly and Trent’s young lives have centered around service to our planet form local to international levels. Their compassion for marine animals across the globe has known no boundaries.

The Breakers Palm Beach received the Blue Business of the Year Award which recognizes a business that has made outstanding contributions toward promoting and encouraging conservation, restoration, or preservation of marine life and/or marine ecosystems through their business practices, products or technology. Retrofitting a resort built in the 1920’s to become one of the most energy efficient resorts in the world is no small task. The Breakers proves year after year that they are committed to environmental excellence. In 2014, The Breakers implemented ultra-energy efficient water saving digital washing machines and invested in over $500,000 in energy efficient LED lighting across the property. The Breakers has also implemented an employee-chaired “Green Team,” which is comprised of ten members from various departments across the property. The “Green Team” focuses on water conservation, waste reduction, and energy efficiency. The Breakers is committed to recycling. Since 2009, more than 35,000 pounds of soap has been recycled – creating over 108,000 new bars of soap for those in need. Additionally, over 11,500 pounds of plastic bottles have been recycled. The Breakers also reduces packaging consumption by using toiletries made with 100% post consumer recycled materials.

The independent panel of judges that selected this year’s finalists and winners included Dr. Gary Adkison, Director, U.S. Shark Foundation; Fabien Cousteau, Aquanauat, Oceanographic Explorer, Conservationist and Documentary Filmmaker; James Harvey, Co-Chairman, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation; Greg Marshall, Inventor, Scientist, Filmmaker, National Geographic; Sally Murray, daughter of LMC Founder, Eleanor Fletcher; Susan Murray, granddaughter of LMC Founder Eleanor Fletcher, Senior Director, Oceana Pacific; Jim Toomey, Executive Director, Mission Blue, Creatorr, Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip and Dr. Edie Widder, President & CEO and Senior Scientist, Ocean Research & Conservation Association.

Sponsors of the Go Blue Awards Luncheon include Ann Miller, AW Property Co., Barbara Savastano, Beth Neuhoff, Betsy Munson, Bob Chlebek, Bruce Beal, Diana Ryan, Dr. Jack Lighton, Florida Weekly, Florida Power & Light, Fraser, Eavenson & Lunsford, Gretchen Scott, Gunster, Interiors by G, Holtec International, James Stanton: UBS Financial Services, Jupiter Magazine, Leanna Landsmann, Loggerhead Marina, Nason, Yeager, Gerson, White & Lioce, P.A., Pete & Lynne Wells, PGA National Resort & Spa, PNC Bank, Pratt & Whitney, Robert Murtagh, Ross & Susan Johnson, Sam Forrest, Sciame Holmes, The Capital Grille, The Gardens Mall, Tiffany & Co., Tire Kingdom, and Whole Foods Market.

To learn more about the Blue Friends Society, a fundraising, conservation and social group of the center, visit

Turn Your Black Friday Blue

10802027_10152579622431973_1004967776354166478_nLooking for a fun, family-friendly alternative to Black Friday? Come celebrate Blue Friday with LMC and enjoy free programming, crafts and marine conservation education from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, November 27. Our sea turtle mascot, Fletch, will be here signing his newest book and our most popular programs will be running throughout the day – including Jr. Vet Lab, Dr. Logger’s interactive children’s show, and free Turtle Yard tours. Children will have the opportunity to create their own holiday crafts, take a family #selfie in our festive photo booth and learn fun ways to respect and give back to the environment. Gift wrapping adornments included with each purchase from our gift store! This event won’t be one to miss, so mark your calendars  for this festive annual event. For more information on our Blue Friday event, please e-mail

We Need Your Vote!


We have been nominated as a finalist for Discover the Palm Beaches Florida’s 2015 Providencia Award! The award is given annually to a local business, organization, or individual with a record of making an extraordinary contribution to the vitality and prosperity of The Palm Beaches as a desirable tourist destination. It would be such an honor to win this award! You can vote once per day until November 19. THANK YOU! You can find instructions on how to vote below:

1. Click here
2. Register as a new user
3. Confirm email address
4. Click view entries 
5. Find us and vote!


Adopt a Sea Turtle This Holiday Season

Sea turtle adoptions make wonderful holiday gifts! This holiday season, give the gift of life and love by adopting one of our sea turtle patients for your loved one. A sea turtle adoption, featuring a personalized certificate, is a fun and meaningful way to show how much you care. Your gift directly supports the center by providing funds for medication, tank maintenance, food and on-going veterinary care.

Adopt a sea turtle now for as low as $35! All adoptions include a personalized letter and certificate, a glossy photograph, a “proud parent” sticker, educational materials, and advanced notice on your turtle’s release. You and your loved one can also follow weekly updates online during the turtle’s rehabilitation.

Please consider adopting Xander, Gru, Blaine or Hatchlings.  Your gift makes an incredible difference. Thank you for your continued support. 

Veterinarian from Italy Visits with LMC’s Hospital

Dr. Andrea Affuso is a veterinarian at the Zoologica Station A. Dohrn (SZN) in Naples, Italy. Dr. Affuso will be visiting with the rehabilitation staff from mid-November to mid-December to learn more about the veterinary care and rehabilitation of sea turtles.

Just after receiving his veterinary degree, Dr. Affuso served as a veterinarian in the Italian Army. Following his time in the army, he obtained two post-graduate specialization degrees in “Physio-pathology of reproduction of domestic animals” and “Pathologies of the avian species, rodents and lagomorphs, technology farms, veterinary hygiene.”  Dr. Affuso taught microsurgery and genetic biotechnology for several years at various universities in Italy. He also worked in animal welfare as a consultant at the University of Naples. Dr. Affuso started working at the SZN earlier this year.


The SZN is an important research institute in the field of marine biology and ecology. The mission of the Zoological Station is the research on fundamental processes of biology, with specific reference to marine organisms and their diversity, in close connection with the study of their evolution and dynamics of marine ecosystems, through an integrated and interdisciplinary approach. The study of biotechnology applications result is apparently the mission of the organization. The Zoological Station offers access to marine organisms for the international scientific community and higher education courses as part of its mission. SZN also has a sea turtle rescue center for sick or injured sea turtles. C. caretta (loggerhead) is the main species found in Italy.

Toys for Tots/Food Drive

Throughout the month of November, we will be accepting canned food donations on behalf of Feeding South Florida.  The company serves the 785,040 individuals struggling to make ends meet throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Please bring in food items before December 2, drop them off in one of our bins, and we will deliver them to the drop off location.

The top 10 most needed items are:

  • Peanut butter
  • Cereal (hot & cold)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meals
  • Canned soups
  • Canned meat (no seafood please)
  • Fruit cups

We will also be collecting items specifically for children.  The top 10 most needed children’s items are:

  • shelf-stable milk
  • Oatmeal packs
  • Cereal cups
  • Fruit cups
  • Rice & beans
  • Juice boxes
  • Granola bars
  • Canned meals
  • Canned soups
  • Canned meat (no seafood please)

Thank you for your help! For questions, please contact Teresa at


We are now accepting unwrapped toys for our annual Toys for Tots donation drive!  Toys will be delivered to less fortunate children across the US this holiday season by the US Marine Corps Reserve.  Please bring in any children’s toy before December 2 and drop it off in one of our donation boxes. For questions, please contact Demi at

Program Spotlight: Private Guided Tours


‘Tis the season for all the family to come to town! What better way to celebrate and entertain than by spending time with Florida’s iconic sea turtles? Private Guided Tours are the best way to experience LMC and can be booked any 7 days of the week*. Our experienced LMC tour guides will lead your guests through our Exhibit Hall area and behind the gates of our sea turtle yard to get an up-close and personal introduction to our patients, learn why they are with us and what you can do to help save endangered species. To book a Private Guided Tour for you and your guests, contact Hannah Campbell, Programs Coordinator, at to confirm your reservation. Cost: $10 per person; 5 person or $50 minimum. *Tours booked based on availability.


We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students from around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

How can you help? It’s simple. We just ask that you help us tell our story. You can do that in many ways. You can make a general donation to LMC, adopt one of our sea turtles, donate items from our wish list or promote our mission on social media, using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Show us how you’re giving on that Tuesday by using #unselfie. We will make sure to feature some of the pictures on our Facebook page. Thank you so much for your continued support. We really could not do what we do without you!

Volunteer Spotlight:


We would like to give huge congratulations to LMC’s November volunteer of the month, Steve Marineau! Steve has been a volunteer in the sea turtle rehabilitation department for two and a half years and has donated 700 hours. He is always willing to help out on off days and come in early when needed. He is reliable and someone that we know can handle any sea turtle patient (even the feisty ones)! Steve also volunteers for Turtle Walks and Eco-ToursHe is a retired teacher and wonderful educator.

Along with volunteering at LMC, Steve is a spin instructor at Loggerhead Fitness. He absolutely loves football and fantasy football. A Wisconsin native, Steve loves the Green Bay Packers, especially Aaron Rodgers. Steve also enjoys paddleboarding and just purchased a racing paddle board. He’s been known to take his dog on paddles as well. It is because of loyal and kind volunteers, like Steve, that we are able to continue saving sea turtles! We thank Steve for being such a great addition to the LMC volunteer family.

Special Thanks to Our Generous Donors & Supporters:

• Special thanks to Texas Roadhouse Grill for choosing LMC to be the recipient of their Grand Opening Fundraising Event for their new location on Southern Boulevard. Texas Roadhouse donated all of the funds raised from beverage sales and employee tips to LMC, totaling over $3,000! We are extremely grateful for their generosity and support.

DSC_0159 • Thank you to UptownArt for hosting a fundraiser at their brand new Jupiter Location! 40% of the proceeds raised from this class were donated to LMC. Guests were instructed on how to paint a unique sea turtle painting while they learned about the center.

• The Sea Turtle Club at Pembroke Hill Lower School in Kansas City, Missouri, created and sold sea turtle magnets and shells as a fundraiser for LMC.

Weekday Morning Eco-Tours


Start and end your week with an eco-tour adventure at LMC! On Monday and Friday mornings, we will be offering hour-long eco-tours through Florida’s beautiful coastal ecosystems. Ever wonder what plants are edible, which plants should be avoided or how Florida’s rich Native American history influenced natural processes? How about the journey of a sea heart? You will find out during these tours. At a 15 guest capacity, these eco-tours are small and guaranteed to leave you with a sense of wonder and appreciation for Florida’s unique flora and fauna. For more information on LMC eco-tours, visit or contact Hannah Campbell, Programs Coordinator, at No pre-registration required. $5 per person.