January Newsletter 2016

CEO Chatter with Jack Lighton

Dear Friends of LMC,

On behalf of our entire team, I would like to welcome you to 2016. We wish you and yours a year filled with health, prosperity and happiness.

Our crew is hard at work planning many fun and exciting programs for 2016. However, my personal favorite is our upcoming Ninth Annual Lights Out Gala, a Swashbuckler Soirée, which will be held at our center on Friday, January 29. The gala, which is designed to educate guests on the start of sea turtle nesting season, offers an amazing evening on the high seas to celebrate ocean and sea turtle conservation. Costumes are optional but encouraged. Guests are asked to embrace their inner pirate!

We have officially kicked off our winter programs and are thrilled to welcome back Dr. Paul Brown and our wonderful Science For Seniors program. This popular program is held on our campus every Tuesday through May. Dr. Brown is a fabulous presenter and has spent many years as a LMC volunteer and lover of all things sea turtle.

We are very proud of our growing portfolio of conservation programs and will continue to expand key programs like the Responsible Pier Initiative (RPI) in 2016.  Though our oceans have many names, they are one body of water and need our help. Marine debris is a significant issue for all animals, including sea turtles. Our hospital continues to experience a high degree of plastic ingestion in our patients, particularly our sea turtle hatchlings.  Please do what you can. Reduce your single-use items and  consider joining a Blue Friends Monthly Beach Clean-Up so we can keep our oceans and coastlines healthier for everyone. I look forward to visiting with you on campus soon!

With Gratitude,

Jack Lighton, President & CEO

Plastic Ingestion in Post-Hatchling Sea Turtles

Over the past three months, the center received a very high number of stranded post-hatchling sea turtle patients. Hospital staff attribute this to a combination of the recent record-breaking nesting season and consistent onshore winds. So what is a post-hatchling sea turtle? A post-hatchling sea turtle is a hatchling that successfully exited the nest and swam out to the sargassum seaweed mats offshore. These hatchlings have a carapace length between 5 c.m. and 10 c.m. These post-hatchlings that came to LMC had blown back to the beach and were found very tired and hungry. Once at the hospital, they were treated with antibiotics, subcutaneous fluids, and good nutrition.


Post-hatchling loggerhead sea turtle

Unfortunately, this ordeal was too much for some of the hatchlings. However – the ones that were successfully rehabilitated were released offshore into sargassum seaweed mats several miles offshore of Jupiter Inlet. The mats provide a safe area where the small turtles are well camouflaged and there is a variety of small food items. Sadly, these floating seaweed mats also collect a lot of ocean debris that can be mistaken for food and ingested. Hospital staff saw this first hand as many of the post-hatchling patients passed varying amounts of ingested plastic pieces. In all of the patients that didn’t survive, we found plastic within their digestive tract.  In several of these turtles, the plastic was the direct cause of their death due to intestinal perforation. This is another reminder of how humans can impact these endangered animals and our environment. You can do your part by visiting our Events Calendar and participating in one of our beach clean-ups to remove this trash off our beaches and bodies of water.


Ingested plastic pieces from post-hatchling sea turtles

Seniors: It’s Time to Come Out of Your Shells!

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Our seasonal Science for Seniors program is back and better than ever! Last Tuesday, we kicked off the return of this popular program with our Second Annual Senior Day. The event featured coffee, donuts, and other light refreshments to welcome seniors back to campus. This season’s theme is You and Your Stress and features four brand-new sessions.

Think you missed out? Think again! All senior citizens are welcome to Loggerhead Marinelife Center to meet the host, Dr. Paul Brown, every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. January through May. Dr. Brown is a graduate of Harvard and Tuft’s School of Medicine and has a warm, inviting personality. Science for Seniors is a four-part program that covers the effects, management, and impacts of stress on senior citizens, providing information and tools to improve your life in the Golden Years.

For more information or to RSVP yourself or a group, please contact Hannah Campbell, Programs Coordinator, at hcampbell@marinelife.org or 561-627-8280 x. 105. For more information about each segment of this four-part program, please visit our website.

First New Pier to Join the Responsible Pier Initiative in 2016

Melody Lane Fishing Pier in Ft. Pierce became the first pier to join the Responsible Pier Initiative in 2016! We now have 27 piers committed to this initiative in Florida and 40 piers overall. Staff working for Ft. Pierce and a nearby city marina were trained on sea turtle rescue and provided with new signage, a net and rescue bin. The pier is scheduled to open next week.

Interested in bringing the Responsible Pier Initiative to your area? Click here.

Show Sea Turtles Some Love This Valentine’s Day!

Love is in the sea! This Valentine’s Day, show your love in a unique and creative way by adopting a sea turtle for that special someone in your life. A sea turtle adoption, featuring a personalized certificate with your loved one’s name, is a fun and meaningful way to show how much you care. Give the gift of life and love by adopting Blaine, Auntie Roe, Xander, Forest, Susan, or Hatchlings. 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 $35.00! All adoptions include a personalized certificate and letter, a glossy photograph, educational materials, and advance notice on your turtle’s release. Gift recipients can also follow weekly updates online during their turtle’s rehabilitation. Your thoughtful gift helps LMC save these magnificent creatures while engaging your loved ones in the continued need for ocean conservation.

Early-Bird JMB Summer Camp Opens February 1

Mark your calendars! Starting on February 1, Early-Bird registration for our popular Junior Marine Biologist summer camp opens at special, discounted rates. Save over $50* during the Early-Bird registration period from February 1 to March 31. This way you can secure your child’s camp spot early to ensure you get the session that best fits your summer plans.


For more information on our exciting, “hands on, feet wet” summer camp program, click here.

*LMC members get an even greater discount! To learn more about how to become a member with us, contact Veronica Clinton, Development Assistant, at vclinton@marinelife.org.

We’re Hiring! Looking for JMB Summer Camp Counselors


We are searching for enthusiastic, experienced educators to fill the following full-time, seasonal roles for our 2016 JMB Summer Camp program:

  • Camp Supervisor
  • Senior Camp Counselors
  • Junior Camp Counselors

Interested applicants must be available for mandatory training dates and for the summer months.*Camp Supervisor must be available May – August

JMB Camp employees requirements vary by position. For more information on job requirements and description, please visit our website.

Sea Turtle Research Update

We have completed the 2015 Annual Reports for Juno Beach, Jupiter-Carlin and Tequesta beaches. Our biologists have also submitted reports to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on nesting numbers, nourishment projects and reproductive data to be included in the statewide database. The research department will begin accepting applications for field technicians and interns within the next month.

Our research team is currently preparing for the 2016 nesting season, with daily surveys to begin on March 1. Below are three graphs of the crawl counts over the past 15 years for each species. It is important to note that despite high variability between years, the overall trend for all three species is clearly upward. We are hopeful that nesting numbers will continue to increase as conservation efforts also continue for these imperiled species.

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Do You Know a Child Who Loves Adventure?

If so, apply for our free Coastal Explorers program! Coastal Explorers is a spring and winter break workshop for children (ages 10-13 years old). The Coastal Explorers Program encompasses a series of two weekend workshops geared towards aspiring scientists and children that have a natural curiosity for Florida outdoors. Each workshop consists of two 4-hour sessions where participants will journey on a minimum of one field trip per day and receive hands-on experience in various geoscience and biology fields. Themes vary with each workshop to include the following:

• Coastal Explorers: Saving Sea Turtles! (February 27-28, 2016)

• Coastal Explorers: Beach Scouts! (March 5-6, 2016)


 Upon the completion of the Coastal Explorers workshop, participants will receive a Coastal Explorer certification from Loggerhead Marinelife Center and a Certificate of Authenticity to show off their merit. This is a FREE program made possible by the Loxahatchee Educational Foundation and is aimed at young adults with an interest in getting a closer look at Florida wildlife and how to protect it for the future. Applications can be found at www.marinelife.org/explorer and MUST be submitted by Friday, February 19, to be considered for admittance. For more information on the Coastal Explorers program, please contact Hannah Campbell, Programs Coordinator at 561-627-8280 ext. 105 or hcampbell@marinelife.org.

Price: Free (*with application submission; applications selected based on interest)

Program Spotlight: Mommy & Me Paint!

Every other Thursday, LMC hosts a Mommy and Me painting class in our ocean-inspired learning center! Geared towards children ages 3-5 years old, participants will receive a ceramic sea turtle as a blank canvas for their boundless creativity. While their new sea turtle friends are drying, children will learn all about the fascinating world of sea turtles through story time, discussion and hands-on artifacts.  If your child is into art and sea turtles, this is the perfect class for you!  Pre-registration occurs in the gift store 30 minutes prior to the program to secure your spot in the fun.

Cost: $8 per ceramic  |  Ages: Geared towards 3-5 years old | 10:30am-11:30am

Free Juno Beach Pier Fishing Program


Do you know an aspiring young angler? Join us for a free Kid’s Fishing Program at the Juno Beach Pier on February 7. Participants will learn basic techniques for fishing from both a beach and 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.


Volunteer of the Month

Haley Hallyburton

We would like to give a huge congratulations to LMC’s January volunteer of the month, Haley Hallburton! Haley is an education docent who has been volunteering with LMC for seven months. She started as a greeter and has transitioned into the education department where she helps with birthday parties. Haley has accumulated 100 volunteer hours. She is always willing to help with anything we need – including dressing up as an elf for the Holiday Event, craft prep or being trained for new programs. Haley will come in for extra shifts and programs and is a huge help to the education department. She always has a great attitude and makes birthday parties a wonderful experience for our younger visitors.
Haley is a Junior National Park Ranger and Wilderness Explorer. She loves sea turtles and mollusks. She wants to be a marine biologist in the future (perfect place for her to be interning)! Her hobbies include paddleboarding and hiking. She is dual enrolled in high school and college courses and will be graduating high school this May. Haley will also be joining LMC as a Marine Education Intern this summer. It is because of kind and loyal volunteers, like Haley, that we can continue saving sea turtles! We thank Haley for being such a great addition to the LMC volunteer family.

Thank You, Our Amazing Supporters


  • Special thanks to Cameron, Lucas and Tanner from Watson B. Duncan Middle School’s 6th grade class for their donation to LMC. Donations were fundraised through a class project where students had to select a charity of interest and create a commercial to raise donations. We thank them for their support!
  • Thank you to American Cup Golf Invitational for visiting LMC and donating over $2,000! American Cup Golf Invitational is an international travel destination group with members from all over the world and they chose to meet in Palm Beach County as one of their many destinations. We look forward to their next visit!
  • Thanks to Saks Fifth Avenue at The Gardens Mall for their ongoing support! On December 9, they hosted LMC’s Ninth Annual Lights Out Gala Kick-off Party where 10% of the proceeds were donated to LMC. We thank them for a successful event!

February Seminar Series

Join us at Loggerhead Marinelife Center for a series of Wednesday evening seminars!  Topics will include: sea turtles, invasive plants, local restoration projects, how you can take part in conservation, and more. Admission is free! For more information, please contact Demi at 561-627-8280 ext. 107 or dfox@marinelife.org.

February 3

February 10

February 17

February 24

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Juno Beach Pier Fishing Report


Fishing on the Juno Beach Pier has been fun lately -especially if you want to catch croakers and whiting. Our anglers have been using small pieces of shrimp and catching fish near shore.  Since we haven’t had an extended cold front, our pompano and mackerel fishing has been on the slow side. If you enjoy fishing at night, we do catch  bluefish with cut sardines and fishing from the bottom. Come and fish with us! We have rental rods and all types of frozen bait and tackle. We would love to have you out here!