CEO CHATTER WITH JACK LIGHTON

Dear Friends of LMC:

Can you believe we are approaching the midpoint of 2016? As the warmth of summertime returns to our magnificent community, we have many fun and exciting plans in store for the entire family.

First, let’s focus in on our local beaches. Did you know that the 9.5 mile stretch of beach LMC has monitored for over 30 years is one of the most densely nested sea turtle beaches on our planet?! This magnificent beach is treasured by our sea turtles and tourists (and residents) for its pristine beauty and proximity to the azure blue waters and breezes of the Gulf Stream, a major ocean current and “conveyor belt” of sea life!

Our sea turtle nesting counts are rapidly increasing. To date, we have nearly 100 leatherback sea turtle nests and over 1,000 loggerhead sea turtle nests on our beach. The green sea turtles will start nesting soon; many of them already spotted in the area. For a truly memorable experience, please consider joining the LMC team on our sea turtle nesting walks. These walks are permitted by FWC and allow our guests to safely experience the wonder of the sea turtle nesting process with friends and family. Offered in June and July only, our sea turtle walks are very popular and space fills up fast. Please consider booking your reservation today.

Making its triumphant return this June is our ever-popular Run 4 The Sea, a wonderful four-mile run along the ocean in support of LMC’s mission. We also have a great kids fun-run/walk – a short one-mile course that allows the whole family to be involved in this fun morning. Registration is filling up fast, so please sign up soon if you would like to participate.

 

Summertime wouldn’t be complete without a fun summer camp option for the younger members of the family. If you haven’t already heard, our extremely popular Junior Marine Biologist summer camp offers younger guests a great opportunity to learn about LMC and sea turtles while having fun!

On behalf of our entire team of staff, volunteers and supporters, I thank you for your continued interest and passion in our mission.

 

With Gratitude,

Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO


ENROLL YOUR CAMPER IN OUR TURTLE-Y AWESOME SUMMER CAMP!

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Spots are filling up quickly for our popular Junior Marine Biologist (JMB) summer camp. If your child has a natural curiosity for the environment, animals or just loves being outdoors, enroll them today in our Junior Marine Biologist summer camp program! Beginning June 6, 2016 campers will take over Loggerhead Marinelife Center and explore the diversity of Florida’s coastal ecosystems – and get to know our sea turtle patients – as a part of our interactive, “hands on and feet wet” summer camp. We strive to create a fun atmosphere. Campers participating in the Junior Marine Biologist summer camp program will gain an understanding of various nature-related topics including (but not limited to) ecology and marine biology with an emphasis on conservation. Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s summer camp programs are interactive, educational and stimulating. Each camp is geared toward children ages 6 through 17. Camp hours are Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Late pick-up (5 p.m.) is available for an additional fee.


TRAVEL WITH LOGGERHEAD MARINELIFE CENTER FOR MARINE CONSERVATION

If you think back on your last visit to Loggerhead Marinelife Center, you’ll recall seeing our dedicated staff and volunteers in constant action: transporting sea turtles to and from treatments in our hospital, conducting swim tests on newly arrived hatchlings, observing behavior of recovering patients and conducting critical research – all on one of the busiest sea turtle nesting beaches in the world.

Now you can be a part of that action.

We are excited to launch our new Serving the World’s Imperiled Marine Life (SWIM) Destination Eco-Tour program that gives guests the opportunity to experience hands-on sea turtle research, rehabilitation and conservation efforts while embarking on a unique vacation to some of the world’s most unique marine ecosystems. Your participation in a SWIM program will assist critical conservation projects and provide much needed volunteer and financial assistance to like-minded organizations making strides in marine conservation.

2016 destinations and projects include:

  • Invasive Species Removal: May 27–29 in Key Largo, Florida
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle Research & Rehabilitation: June 17–24 in Juno Beach, Florida
  • Marine Animal Research & Rescue: July 14–23 in Maui, Hawai’i
  • Coral Restoration: August 25–27 in Key Largo, Florida
  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle Monitoring & Conservation: September 24 – October 2 in Padre Ramos, Nicaragua

* Airfare and all meals included

What you will get (and give):

  • Assist conservation organizations with their day-to-day efforts and special projects.
  • Provide support for non-profit conservation organizations in need of volunteer and financial assistance.
  • Take an active role in global conservation efforts to help minimize the effects of human impacts on marine life.
  • Explore diverse ecosystems while learning about their ecological importance in local communities.
  • Interested in signing up? For more information on how to become involved and to book your SWIM program, visit www.marinelife.org/SWIM or contact Hannah at hcampbell@marinelife.org.

Loggerhead Park Balloon Ban

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Balloons used in Palm Beach County parks are often released – purposefully or accidentally – and end up polluting the ocean. Deflated balloons resemble jellyfish, a common prey item for sea turtles. LMC’s research team has been tracking the number of balloons spotted on our survey area this nesting season and already removed 180.

To continue promoting the safety and protection of sea turtles, Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Palm Beach County have partnered to prohibit the use of balloons in Loggerhead Park (located directly behind the center) for a one-year trial period.

 


Responsible Pier Initiative Ramping Up Rescues

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Staff members have been busy keeping up with the Responsible Pier Initiative lately! April saw eight sea turtles rescued from participating piers in Florida and North Carolina. We have already recorded seven rescued turtles in the first two weeks of May – two of which are currently being treated at LMC.

In response to LMC’s Responsible Pier Initiative, we rescued three turtles from the Juno Beach Pier last week. We were able to release one within a few days after two J-hooks were removed from the turtle’s mouth and throat. The other two turtles are currently undergoing treatment at our facility. Treble is a sub-adult loggerhead that arrived with a J-hook in the mouth and a small treble hook in the lower esophagus. The J-hook was removed, but the treble hook remains in the esophagus. We will monitor the turtle to see if the hook will pass on its own. Our latest pier turtle, Pearson, is a sub-adult loggerhead that became entangled with fishing line on its right front flipper. Pearson had evidence of pre-existing issues and was hospitalized to resolve those issues. Both turtles will be monitored by LMC hospital staff until they are deemed ready for release.

With sea turtles coming closer into shore due to nesting season, it’s important to know what to do if you accidentally hook a sea turtle while fishing or spot a sick or injured turtle. Here in Florida, call FWC: 888-404-3922 (*FWC on any mobile phone). Once you have contacted FWC, if you are in the area, you can also call LMC’s 24-hour Sea Turtle Rescue Line: (561) 603-0211.


Sea Turtle Nesting Report

As of May 23, our research department has recorded 107 leatherback nests and 1,855 loggerhead nests along our survey area. As of  May 23, The Leatherback Project has encountered 52 leatherback turtles during nighttime monitoring of Juno Beach. Of those encounters, 13 were new females that were not previously tagged. You can follow along with the Leatherback Project on their blog.

The 2016 nesting season is kicking up into full gear. The loggerheads began nesting in mid-April, and we are currently documenting 20-100 new nests per night! Our loggerhead nests are currently trending ahead of 2012 (our previous record year for loggerheads.) Peak nesting for loggerheads typically occurs in late June to early July, while nesting begins to decrease in August. The green turtles typically begin to nest in late May to early June. Although we have not had our first green nest, we expect it any day now, and anticipate that green turtle nesting will reach a peak in August.

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As sea turtle nesting continues to ramp up on a nightly basis, please remember to sign up for a guided turtle walk!

Please also remember these tips:

  • Do not approach nesting sea turtles on the beach
  • Turn off your lights and do not use flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night
  • Please remove beach furniture and other debris or trash from the beach
  • Fill in any holes and knock over sand castles
  • Please do not try to mark sea turtle crawls for our survey crew

 


SAVE THE DATE: World Ocean’s Day!

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Did you know that over 70 percent of the Earth is covered with water? Come help us celebrate the beauty of our blue planet on Saturday, June 4, 2016 for our annual World Ocean’s Day event! Guests will enjoy FREE behind-the-gate Turtle Yard tours throughout the day, interactive children’s activities, and learn the many ways everyone can help keep our ocean clean, blue and trash-free. Remember – healthy ocean, healthy planet! Hope to see you there!

 


FREE FISHING PIER PROGRAM

Do you know an aspiring young angler? Join us for a free Kid’s Fishing Program on May 1 at the Juno Beach Pier! Participants will learn basic beach and pier fishing techniques including knot tying, casting, species identification and proper release protocols. In addition to fishing skills, participants will learn how 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 the fishing program, please contact Demi at (561) 627-8280 ext. 107 or dfox@marinelife.org. Space is limited.


Mascot Corner: Story Time With The Sea Turtles

Mascot Corner May

Greetings to all from Fletch, your lovable and huggable LMC mascot! Here at the center, I get asked “So, Fletch, what do you like to do in your spare time at the center?” Well, today I’d like to answer that question. One of my favorite things to do in my free time is read my favorite books to the sea turtle patients. “Fletch Little Adventures” and “Fletch Adventures” are books all about me, my friends and a very special beach “where magic happens and adventures are in reach.” The sea turtles just love them! Never heard of these books? That’s OK! You can pick them up in the LMC gift shop and have your very own adventure with me and my friends. After you read my story, have a parent help you send me an email to fletch@marinelife.org. I’d love to hear what your favorite part of the story was!


Run 4 The Sea

Join LMC on Saturday, June 18 for our fifth annual Run 4 The Sea! The run will feature a four-mile run at 7 a.m., with a one-mile fun run for kids at 8:15 a.m. Check-in for pre-registered runners will open at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday. Package pick up will be held at LMC on Friday, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The race will follow A1A alongside the picturesque Juno Beach, all while celebrating ocean conservation and endangered sea turtles. Race proceeds benefit our mission to promote conservation of Florida’s coastal ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. All participants are invited to enjoy a post-race celebration with music and breakfast.

Special thanks to our 2016 Run 4 The Sea sponsors: Anchor Commercial Bank, Atticus Printing, Avonda Wealth ManagementBurrito BrosCoastal ObsessionEavenson Fraser & Lunsford PLLC, Florida Power & Light Co.Jersey Mikes, Loggerhead Marina, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center,Road IDThe Gardens Mall,T.G.R. The Gymnastics Revolution, Trader Joe’s, and Tri Bike Run.

Register for the race or become a vendor here!

 


VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

We would like to give a huge congratulations to LMC’s May volunteer of the month, Pat Broxson. Pat has been an active LMC volunteer since July 2015 and has accumulated 200 hours in that time. Pat began volunteering as a greeter at LMC and now volunteers at the Juno Beach Pier twice a week. Pat is always willing to take on any task, greets everyone at the Juno Beach Pier with a smile and helps the pier staff tremendously during each of her shifts. 

Pat has loved the ocean since she was a little girl and has been fishing since her family moved to Florida when she was 9 years old. She loves that her volunteer work at the pier allows her to share her love of the ocean and fishing. Pat enjoys promoting conservation and educating visitors about sea turtles, LMC’s Responsible Pier Initiative and local fishing regulations and information. Pat said, “What I really enjoy about the pier is the feeling of camaraderie between the staff, volunteers, visitors and fisherman. The people fishing are so interesting and diverse; some are fishing for fun while others fish to feed their families. The pier offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to share in the beauty of the ocean and fun of fishing.” 
 
Since retiring from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation last year, Pat has been spending more time on her hobbies and volunteer activities. Outside of LMC, Pat enjoys fishing, gardening, traveling and volunteering at Jupiter Elementary School through the Literacy Coalition’s Building Better Readers program. The biggest fish she caught this year was an 84-inch sailfish, which she released. Pat and her husband won an award for Outstanding Catch Offshore from the West Palm Beach Fishing Club. She also has an urban garden where she grows many herbs and vegetables. It is because of kind and loyal volunteers like Pat that we can continue saving sea turtles! We thank Pat for being such a great addition to the Juno Beach Pier and LMC volunteer family.

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: Sea Turtle Walks

Our popular summertime Turtle Walks are back! The walks are held Wednesday through Saturday evenings in June and July – the peak time of nesting season for loggerhead sea turtles to emerge from the ocean and lay their eggs. These walks are held on Juno Beach, one of the most densely nested loggerhead sea turtle beaches in the world, home to over 10,000 loggerhead nests last year.

Experienced LMC 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 visit with our sea turtle patients in the outdoor sea turtle hospital. Once a sea turtle is found and begins her egg-laying process, the group is then able to join the scouts on the beach to watch this unforgettable experience. Turtle Walks are $17 per person or $12 per person for LMC members. Walk-ins are a flat rate of $20 and are not guaranteed a spot. Children must be 8 years or older to attend the walks. Attendees must be able to walk up to half a mile to attend.

We can only accommodate up to 25 people per night and dates fill up quickly. There is no relationship between sea turtle nesting activity and the phase of the moon, weather or tides. All scheduled Turtle Walk nights give each group the same odds of seeing a nesting turtle. There are no refunds on tickets if a turtle is not spotted. Registration opens May 2. 


Summertime Shopping

Summertime has arrived in Florida. What better way to have fun in the ocean or pool than with our popular Aqua Voyager raft – where your child can peer down into the pool or ocean – or play in the sand with our Turtle Beach Bag set? Our gift store also carries sea turtle beach towels, sunscreen, kids’ swim attire, water bottles and beach toys. Not local? You can always check out our online gift store at shop-marinelife.org for sea turtle and marine-themed gifts. Don’t forget that Father’s Day is coming next month! Make Dad smile with a special gift from our wonderful store. Happy shopping!


THANK YOU, OUR AMAZING SUPPORTERS

  • A Special thank you to Kaylin Bowe for helping our sea turtles! Kaylin organized an educational bake sale, where customers decorated cupcakes while Kaylin provided them with an informational poster on LMC. After raising $50, volunteer Ann Miller matched her great granddaughter’s earnings for a total of $100. Thank you, Kaylin for all your hard work and support!

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  • The 23rd Annual Loggerhead Invitational Golf Tournament was held on Tuesday, May 10 at Seminole Golf Club. Over 130 golfers participated in this year’s tournament, helping to raise critical funding for LMC. We would like to thank our generous sponsors for their role in making this year’s tournament a success: AT&T, Southern Oak Insurance, Jupiter Tequesta Air Conditioning & Heating, The Waterford, Angry Moon Cigars, Braman Motorcars, Frenchman’s Creek Beach & Country Club, Starbucks and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
  • Thank you to Harbourside Place for hosting the Sip, Shop & Support event on Earth Day to fundraise for LMC! Guests strolled through Harbourside’s fabulous retail row while sampling a variety of wine provided by Southern Wine & Spirits. All proceeds were donated to LMC.
  • Eileen Fisher generously selected LMC to be a recipient of the 2016 Spring Celebration. On this day, Eileen Fisher donated 10 percent of all sales to non-profit organizations, resulting in nearly $5,000 for LMC!
  • Thank you to Bunulu for partnering with LMC to host the Beach Bash Happy Hour & Beach Clean Up in April. Nearly 100 participants came out to clean the beach and enjoy the refreshments provided by Bunulu!
  • Thank you to Cornall, Ewing, Bellino & Associates for being our BCU sponsor for the month.
  • This year, the kids at Plymouth United Church of Christ selected LMC to be their donation mission this year. Thank you to all of you for donating green scrubbies to our marine hospital and adopting Xander!Plymouth Unitec Church of Christ Donation 004