CEO CHATTER WITH JACK LIGHTON
It is official – summertime is here and so are the nesting sea turtles! I am happy to report that loggerhead sea turtles are nesting in record numbers on our local beaches, which keeps our research team quite busy on the 9.5 mile stretch of beach our center manages.
Now more than ever, it is important to help ensure we have clean beaches and we work with the community to extinguish beach-side lighting, which is beneficial for nesting moms and helps protect hatchlings as they make their way to the ocean.
We have many programs and activities planned for the summertime. This weekend is our fifth annual Run 4 The Sea, which invites runners to take part in a four-mile race, while younger runners can join in the one-mile kids fun run.
We offer a number of unique programs this summer, which will allow you to have a once in a lifetime opportunity on our local beaches. Back by popular demand are LMC’s sea turtle nesting walks and our hatchling release program. A new and innovative program we are offering this summer is our Biologist Beach Walk program, where guests can experience a day-in-the-life of an LMC researcher and possibly observe our research team excavate a sea turtle nest.
We have designed a number of fun and innovative programs, which help our guests create an even better understanding of the magnificent sea turtle and the ocean and beaches they call home.
I hope you are able to join us this summer as we continue to educate and advocate for ocean and sea turtle conservation. It is because of your support that we are able to increase our conservation impact together. Thank you!
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO
Summer programming has kicked off at LMC!
Summer brings our favorite time of year – peak nesting season! We are excited for what is becoming a very busy year, and we have developed three programs to share that excitement with you: Turtle Walks, Hatchling Releases, and Biologist Beach Walks. Join us on one (or all!) of our summer beach programs to bring you and your family closer to the nesting action on our very own beaches.
For the night owl: A Turtle Walk is a unique program that allows our visitors to learn about and observe the sea turtle nesting and egg-laying process. Experienced Loggerhead Marinelife Center 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 take an exclusive, behind-the-gate tour to meet our current sea turtle patients. Once a loggerhead sea turtle is found and begins her egg-laying process, the group is then led down to the beach to witness this unforgettable process. Register now to participate in this unique experience!
For the early riser: With special permission from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, an LMC staff member will lead guests on an ecological walk on the beach, identify sea turtle tracks, and demonstrate how a sea turtle nest is excavated for data collection. Guests will learn about the different sea turtle species, the tricks of identifying tracks, and may get to see sea turtle hatchlings emerge from the nest! Biologist Beach Walks are offered every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday through August and registration is online only. Register beginning July 1 to enjoy this unique experience!
For the hatchling lover: The Hatchling Release program enables guests to witness newly hatched sea turtles take their first crawl back to sea. During the program, guests will enjoy an evening tour of our Turtle Yard to see current hatchlings undergoing rehabilitation, learn about hatchling strengths and challenges, and join permitted LMC staff members in releasing the most recent hatchlings found by our trained and permitted research staff back to sea. Register beginning July 1 to participate in this unique experience!
JMB CAMP is here!
Look out, Juno Beach! This summer, hundreds of aspiring scientists ages 6-17 are taking over Loggerhead Marinelife Center to participate in our Junior Marine Biologist summer camp program! June 6 kicked off the official start of summer camp with our popular Turtle Adventures session for ages 6-10. Campers took a tour of our hospital, spent a day becoming a responsible angler and fishing at Sawfish Bay park, worked together to portray the dangers of nesting, and even created their own shell to take home!
There is still limited space available through the summer, where campers ages 6-17 will learn about and explore the diverse Florida ecosystems from the reef to the Everglades, so register today! For more information on availability, fees and sessions please visit our camp page.
Want to see what a day at JMB camp is like? Check out our JMB camp blog!
Save-the-Date: Swim Eco-Tour Program
If you think back to 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 the action with the Serving the World’s Imperiled Marine life (SWIM) program, which aims to help other conservation-minded organizations with central projects to aid in local and global conservation efforts.
SWIM – Maui, Hawai’i – Sea Turtle Research and Rescue
Travel with us to Maui, Hawai’i – home of the basking honu – on one of our 2016 SWIM programs from July 21-29 for an unforgettable vacation! We are currently looking for participants to help conduct sea turtle research and rescue projects while enjoying the many benefits of visiting Hawaii’s most adventurous island.
For more information on how to get involved and to book your SWIM program, contact Hannah at email@example.com.
SWIM – Padre Ramos, Nicaragua – Eastern Pacific Sea Turtle Monitoring and Conservation
Travel with us to Estero Padre Ramos Natural Reserve in Nicaragua in our final 2016 SWIM destination eco-tour program from September 24 to October 2. During this SWIM program, you will assist with in-water turtle monitoring, monitoring sea turtle hatcheries, mangrove reforestation, community based tourism and educational activities in one of the most ecologically important natural areas for sea turtles in Nicaragua.
Interested in signing up? For more information on how to get involved and to book your SWIM program, contact Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PADI Specialty Certification – Sea Turtle Awareness Course
Join us on June 25, 2016 for a hands-on lesson on the importance of sea turtle awareness! In partnership with Jupiter Dive Center, this course introduces divers to sea turtle identification and conservation as they enjoy an indoor presentation about best practices and test their knowledge underwater on a two tank dive in Jupiter. This is a PADI Specialty Course which earns you a certification card and credit towards the Master Scuba Diver accreditation.
To register, please call Jupiter Dive Center at (561) 745-7807 or email email@example.com.
World Oceans Day- Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet!
Did you know? It can take up to 20 years for a plastic bag to break down in the environment, and much longer for fishing line, plastic bottles and Styrofoam!
Over the weekend, we celebrated World Oceans Day with a big splash as over 300 guests popped in to visit with our sea turtle patients and participate in our campus-wide World Oceans Day event. Each guest received a free reusable bag, courtesy of Trader Joe’s, as they pledged to Take the Better Bag Challenge! The Challenge is a national campaign to promote the use of reusable bags instead of disposable plastic bags while shopping; pledgers vowed to cut down on their plastic use by banning plastic bags from their daily lives for one year. Do you think YOU could beat the Take the Better Bag Challenge? We want to know! Use the hashtag #betterbag and tag @loggerheadMC to tell us how you plan to cut down your plastic use!
Missed out on the fun? Check out this year’s event photos on our Facebook page.
Sea Turtle Nesting Report
The leatherback nesting season, typically ending by July, has started slowing down. So far this season we have recorded 137 leatherback nests along our survey area. The Leatherback Project, documenting our team’s spectacular season collecting data on nesting leatherbacks this year, will continue until mid-June. As of June 9, the Leatherback Project has encountered 68 leatherbacks. Fourteen of those encounters have been with previously untagged females.
The loggerhead turtle nesting really picked up this month, and we are on trajectory to a record-breaking nesting season this year. As of June 9, we have recorded 5,149 loggerhead nests. We average about 200 new loggerhead nests each night, which is about double the amount we usually expect to document at this time of the season. Loggerhead nesting typically peaks in late June to early July, so our biologists are very interested to see how this season pans out. These high nesting numbers could signify that our local loggerhead population is recovering. In Florida, there was a dip in nesting numbers about 10 years ago, but we are very hopeful that the current upward trend in nesting will continue for the loggerheads.
This month marks the beginning of green turtles nesting on our beaches. On June 1 we recorded our first green turtle nest on Tequesta. The greens are slowly trickling in and we have recorded 4 nests so far. Green turtles typically nest in alternating high and low nesting years, so we were anticipating this year to be a lower season due to the record year we had in 2015. The greens typically peak nesting in July to August.
Meet the New Members
of the REHab Team
The LMC rehabilitation department is pleased to introduce our current biology intern and our veterinary extern:
Katie Hellman is our summer intern. She is from Spring Hill, Florida and is currently a senior at Palm Beach Atlantic University pursuing a degree in Biology with a concentration in Marine Science. Katie chose LMC because she would love to work in animal rehabilitation after graduation. She also plans on becoming a certified veterinarian technician after graduation.
Kayla Muncy is our current vet extern at LMC. Kayla is from Bluefield, Virginia, and is a fourth-year veterinary student at Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated from Roanoke College Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Kayla chose Loggerhead Marinelife Center as one of her external rotations because she wanted to learn more about the medical treatments used to rehabilitate sea turtles. Next, she will return to the veterinary school hospital in Southwest Virginia to complete her clinical rotations.
Responsible Pier Initiative Reaches 150 Rescues
The Responsible Pier Initiative had its 150th sea turtle rescue just a few weeks ago on May 15. Today, the rescue count stands at 177 turtles – including Pearson and Treble, two of LMC’s current patients. The RPI was launched on the Juno Beach Pier in 2013. Staff were able to assist in three sea turtle rescues that year. We are very grateful for the participation from so many anglers, pier managers and sea turtle responders. We are looking forward to establishing the program on even more piers in the near future!
If you have any questions about the RPI, please visit our RPI webpage.
The first sea turtle hatchlings on LMC’s survey area emerged this year on May 24. Soon, many nests will hatch each night and thousands of hatchlings will make their way to the ocean. Please follow the tips below to help protect sea turtles on our beaches this nesting season:
- Fill in holes and level sandcastles to avoid trapping or blocking nesting females and hatchlings.
- Do not touch or move healthy hatchlings.
- Do not dig into an emerging nest. The hatchlings use each other and the motion of pushing sand below them to help lift them out of the nest chamber.
- If you find a weak, disoriented or washed-back hatchling, you may transport the turtle to LMC in a cool, dark container. Staff keeps a cooler by the front doors and checks it multiple times each day. Please do not transport hatchlings in water – they may drown.
- Please do not bring unhatched eggs to LMC. We cannot incubate them and they should remain in the sand on the beach to incubate naturally.
Thank you for your help in ensuring a safe and successful nesting season!
FREE FISHING PIER PROGRAM
Do you know an aspiring young angler? Join us for a free Kid’s Fishing Program at the Juno Beach Pier on July 3! Participants will learn basic fishing techniques 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
Mascot Corner:Birthday Bash At Roger Dean Stadium
Greetings to all from Fletch, your loveable, huggable LMC mascot! I love helping out around the center, but spending time with my mascot friends makes my day. So, when I received an invitation to attend Hamilton’s and Robbie’s Birthday Bash on May 21, I joined Chewy, Stanley C. Panther, Peanut, Owlsley and the Chick-fil-A Cow to wish Robbie and Hamilton a very happy birthday! We had a great time dancing on the dugout, eating birthday cake, opening presents and interacting with the fans. When you’re in the Jupiter area, stop by Roger Dean Stadium for a baseball game and a picture with my friend Hamilton R. Head (Mascot Jupiter Hammerheads) or Robbie the Redbird (Mascot Palm Beach Cardinals). Play ball!!!
Run 4 The Sea
Join LMC on Saturday, June 18 for our fifth annual Run 4 The Sea! The event 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 Management, Burrito Bros, Coastal Obsession, Dunkin’ Donuts, Eavenson Fraser & Lunsford PLLC, Florida Power & Light Co., Jersey Mikes, Loggerhead Marina, Michelle Tucker Team – Florida Living Realty, One Ocean Drive Realty / Robert Brandon, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center,Road ID, The Gardens Mall,T.G.R. The Gymnastics Revolution, Trader Joe’s, and Tri Bike Run.
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
Carol was born and raised in Oregon. Before moving to Florida, she lived and worked in Scottsdale, Arizona. Carol was an educator and her ability to teach shines through during her volunteer shifts. She has three grandchildren (two boys and one girl) in New Hampshire that she loves visiting. Her youngest granddaughter also loves sea turtles and Carol enjoys updating her about our patients. Carol’s hobbies outside of LMC include spending time with family, diving with her husband, traveling and playing with her dog Brea. She loves to travel to new places for exciting diving opportunities. One of her favorite experiences is to spot sea turtles on our reefs when she dives.
Mapping Pisces Island – Vendor Spotlight With Laura Mulholland
Name: Laura Mulholland
Company: Pisces Island (jewelry and crocheted accessories)
Location: Palm City, Florida
Dream superpower: Healing
How long have you been creating jewelry?
I’ve been creating my whole life, but Pisces Island started in 2011. As a Floridian, I was inspired by the ocean. I was actually making jewelry just for myself, but then my friends kept telling me they loved it and that I should sell. So I did. I didn’t study art in college; it was all soft-taught, including some help from YouTube!
How did you start selling your art?
Etsy is where I do best, but I also get a lot of my customers from Instagram. I am in another store in addition to the gift store here, and I’m definitely looking to branch out more.
Where do you find ideas for your work?
I find ideas everywhere! Sometimes I find them here at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. It could be a sea turtle, a sunrise or sunset, colors or wherever I am. It’s literally everywhere. I have to take so many notes in my phone so I don’t forget!
What are your favorite materials to work with?
My favorite materials are anything natural – like shells or wood. I get my materials from wholesalers, in the store, on the beach or at a farmer’s market if it’s affordable. I prefer to get it from the beach if I can. I would like to try working with glass or maybe even fabricating surfboards.
Where is your favorite place to see art?
Anything local, really. It could be an art show, a farmer’s market or a store. I love to see the people coming from all over and what they’re doing.
What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created?
I made my favorite piece in 2011. It was a flower made out of red-lipped conch shell with coconut wood beads. A friend of mine has it and she recently sent me a photo of her wearing it!
What do you want to communicate with your art?
I want to communicate my love of everything natural. Whether it’s animals, the sea or Florida, that’s what comes my way with a lot of what I do. And I like to give back through gifts. I’ll donate to other local charities, including Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
What is your inspiration behind creating?
My inspiration comes from everywhere. I’ll see a shell on the ground and a necklace will come to mind. I do surfboard art too. I guess you could say I’m inspired by the moments. To me, being creative means being open-minded and seeing the beauty in everything.
Sea Cows and Sea Turtles Unite!
Last February, Florida Power and Light opened Manatee Lagoon, an eco-discovery center that educates guests about the Florida manatee, easily seen in the wintertime just outside of the center. As a proud partner of the facility, LMC was selected to manage the gift store and café. With a multi-functional educational center, a manatee webcam, two levels of observation areas and so much more, LMC is grateful to partner with Manatee Lagoon, and is excited to watch the center grow as a world-class educational facility in Palm Beach County.
The sea turtle and manatee (also known as the sea cow) have more in common than first meets the eye. The sea turtle and the manatee both need clean water and healthy sea grass, and rely on responsible boaters to help ensure their well-being. Together, we can continue to raise awareness about the sea turtle and the manatee, and help inspire our neighbors, friends and family to be leaders of ocean conservation.
Hours of operation:
Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday Afternoon Lecture Series
Want to enhance your weekend? Why not join us at Manatee Lagoon for a fun and informative free lecture series every Sunday afternoon from now until July 31! Guests will enjoy a presentation from a variety of scientists about a marine animal, view rare photography and videography, and observe field work conducted by one of our Manatee Masters.
- Time: 2-3 p.m. with Q&A afterward
June 19: Western Atlantic Blacktip Shark Migration
June 26: Blue Heron Bridge & the Secret Lives of Octopus that Live Beneath
Manatee Tales Children’s Story Hour
Children ages 3-8 will have an ocean of fun learning about the manatee from one of the center’s Manatee Master Story Tellers and enjoy hands-on crafts.
- Date/Time: Every Thursday through July 28 at 10:30 a.m.
Artful Learning Classes
Learn about the wonders of Lake Worth Lagoon and artistic techniques with local artist and Florida Atlantic University Manatee Master, Hannah Cooper. Must be 18 or older.
- Date: Every Friday through July 31 at 5 p.m.
- Cost: $30 per person
Artful Learning Classes for Kids
Kids ages 6-12 will enjoy this hands-on art class while learning about the Lake Worth Lagoon habitat.
- Date/Time: Every Saturday through July 31at 1 p.m.
- Cost: $15/child
Mindful Moments Yoga
Enjoy a one-hour sunrise or sunset yoga class led by yoga instructor Yvonne Gross. Must be 21 or older. Advanced registration required.
- Sunrise Classes: Tuesdays at 6:45 a.m.
Sunset Classes: Thursdays at 5:45 p.m.
Tours and Talks
Choose a walking tour about the manatee or the history and ecology of Lake Worth Lagoon.
- Much Ado About Manatees: Every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
- Lake Worth Lagoon: A Natural Treasure in Our Backyard: Every Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m.
- Cost: FREE
Father’s Day is this Sunday, and our gift store has unique gifts for that special Dad! Treat Dad to a variety of gifts including cologne, soaps, marine-life themed silk ties, socks, hats, t-shirts, coffee and frosty mugs and even Polarized sunglasses! Not local? You can always check out our online gift store for sea turtle and marine-themed gifts.
THANK YOU, OUR AMAZING SUPPORTERS
Special thanks to Franklin County Girls on the Run – Capital University, a bi-weekly running group of third through fifth grade girls in Columbus, Ohio. They raised money for LMC by running sponsored laps. Thank you for your support all the way from Ohio!!
- Thank you to Nautical Ventures for sponsoring the Blue Friends Society Beach Clean-ups this summer from June through August!
Thank you to Reid Waxman for directing donations in honor of his recent birthday to Loggerhead Marinelife Center! We love seeing young supporters getting involved in their community. Thank you Reid!!
Special thanks to our friends at J. McLaughlin in the Gardens Mall for hosting a Sip-n-Shop event that raised nearly $500 for LMC! Thank you for your continuous support!
Thank you to our 3rd grade friends at Westchester Elementary School. These students were studying Economics over the course of the school year, which culminated in the creation of a school marketplace in which they bought and sold handmade goods. The students voted to donate the profits of the marketplace to LMC, resulting in a donation of $700! Thank you for your hard work and support!