CEO CHATTER WITH JACK LIGHTON
Dear friends of LMC:
It is time to celebrate here in Juno Beach. We have officially concluded our 2016 sea turtle nesting season on Florida’s beaches. On the 9.5 mile stretch of beach that LMC monitors, we are thankful to report a record sea turtle nesting year, especially for our loggerhead sea turtles. We are very grateful for the help of our staff, volunteers and supporters who contribute to our long-standing research study designed to understand the nesting behaviors of our sea turtles and help protect their critical nesting grounds – our beaches.
Speaking of celebrations, we are so happy to report another successful Go Blue Awards Luncheon. In its eighth year our luncheon was the largest in the history of our center, in fact this awards luncheon is now Florida’s largest ocean conservation awards event. Our award winners are amazing advocates for earth’s most precious resource, our ocean. Guests at this year’s event were wowed by our keynote speaker, Mr. Paul Nicklen, who is one of the best storytellers and photo conservationists of our time. We are happy to report that Mr. Nicklen has agreed to join our esteemed panel of Go Blue Awards judges and will keep in close touch with our center as we have named a sea turtle patient in his honor, “Nicklen!”
We have some very exciting items to shell-e-brate here at LMC and I would love to call these to your attention:
– Have you seen American film icon Burt Reynolds at LMC?!
– The magic number of 50 – LMC’s Responsible Pier Initiative (RPI) continues to expand across our oceans!
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize a long standing partner and friend to our center, Gretchen Scott Designs, who brings color, beauty and style to our world. Gretchen Scott also significantly supports our center and multiple causes across our planet. With custom designed (sea) turtle tunics and ocean-inspired and coastal chic fashion, we are honored to work with this amazing partner who helps us showcase our work each and every day. Please visit the gorgeous Gretchen Scott Boutique in Jupiter to thank this amazing team for their tremendous support of our community.
On behalf of our team of staff, volunteers and supporters, I thank you for your continued passion and support for our mission. We look forward to seeing you on campus soon.
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO
The time is now. Our oceans and sea turtles desperately need your help. With your support, year-to-date we have:
- Removed 2881.36 pounds of marine debris through the Responsible Pier Initiative (RPI)
- Implemented the RPI on 50 piers
- Facilitated the recuse of 223 sea turtles through the RPI.
- Documented 40,885 sea turtle nests and false crawls on local beaches
- Treated 46 patients in our hospital
- Taught 8,564 students from Palm Beach County schools
No amount is too small; please consider making a gift.
Eighth Annual Go Blue Awards
More than 500 conservation-minded individuals gathered on Friday, Oct. 28 at PGA National Resort & Spa for Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s announcement of its 2016 Go Blue Awards winners: Louie Psihoyos, Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation, Brooke Welch, Scott Harris and Dr. Derek Burkholder.
As Florida’s largest ocean conservation awards event, the luncheon brought together ocean heroes from around the world to meet and mingle, congratulate the winners and hear from special guest and keynote speaker, Paul Nicklen. With over 2.7 million digital followers, Mr. Nicklen is a globally acclaimed photographer and marine biologist who has documented the plight and beauty of the planet’s polar regions and world’s oceans for more than two decades – including the Florida manatees in Crystal River, Florida. We are honored to have had Paul Nicklen share his conservation journey with us at the awards ceremony.
We are also truly inspired by the work of our Eighth Annual Go Blue Awards finalists, winners and keynote speaker Paul Nicklen. Congratulations to Louie Psihoyos, Scott Harris, Derek Burkholder, Brooke Welch and PBC Parks and Recreation for winning their respective categories. We are honored to have the opportunity to recognize all of finalists and winners for their accomplishments in ocean conservation. These individuals and organizations are the driving forces in keeping our oceans blue. A special thank you to everyone who came to the luncheon, as well as all of our generous sponsors. An additional thank you to Tracey Benson Photography for capturing the ceremony.
*Please read more about the finalists of our Eighth Annual Go Blue Awards on our blog.
In October, we welcomed several new patients to our center. One of them, Nicklen, arrived just in time to celebrate our Go Blue Awards Luncheon with us and help us honor this year’s keynote speaker, Paul Nicklen. As a photographer and marine biologist, Paul creates images of our planet and its creatures that drive viewers to take action and work towards conservation goals worldwide. We are proud to have a loggerhead sea turtle patient named in Paul’s honor and happy to say that Nicklen the turtle, who came to LMC with a buoyancy issue, is now diving well. To help support Nicklen’s recovery and all of our other patients, you can adopt a sea turtle today in our gift store or online.
Nothing But NEt
On Saturday, Oct. 29 around 8 a.m., the rehabilitation team responded to a sea turtle stranding call. The caller reported he had a sea turtle on the beach that had been entangled in fishing net. The turtle was a sub-adult olive ridley, later named Burt Reynolds.
Our newest olive ridley sea turtle patient was named in honor of Palm Beach County Native and American Icon, Burt Reynolds. As one of the most successful actors of all time, Reynolds’ uniqueness has always been admired by locals and people from around the globe. Olive Ridley sea turtles, like Burt Reynolds the actor, are incredibly unique cases. Burt Reynolds is the first olive ridley to strand as far north as Martin County and is also only the fifth olive ridley stranding to be documented in Florida. Although a rare case, this turtle is not the first olive ridley LMC has treated. In the winter of 2014, LMC released Meghan, who was the first olive ridley to be successfully rehabilitated in Florida. Burt Reynolds was foundentangled in 75 pounds of net in the surf on Hobe Sound Beach.
According to NOAA’s research, one of the most notable types of impacts from marine debris is wildlife entanglement, which can lead to injure, illness, suffocation and starvation. In an effort to increase awareness of the impacts of marine debris, the net Burt Reynolds was found in will be displayed next to the turtle’s tank. Olive ridleys are pelagic animals more commonly found around Central and South America. This turtle is a great reminder that humans have a huge impact on oceanic wildlife. Burt Reynolds is underweight and is being treated for constriction injuries to the front left flipper. Follow Burt Reynolds’ rehabilitation progress on the turtle’s patient page and see the turtle swimming in real-time on our web cam.
The 2016 sea turtle nesting season officially ended on October 31, and what a season it was! Our research staff was quite busy this summer recording our second highest nesting season for all species combined with 40,885 crawls recorded. The current record was set last year with 42,115 crawls.
This season marked a record year for loggerhead nesting. This year we recorded 15,234 loggerhead nests (the previous record was 11,525 loggerhead nests in 2012). We also recorded 160 leatherback nests and 700 green turtle nests this season.
Our staff researchers are currently working on annual reports for Juno, Jupiter-Carlin and Tequesta beaches for submission to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). For each of our survey beaches we compile detailed reports that 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 this 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 continuous 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 premier research locations in the United States for nesting sea turtle studies.
Impact of Hurricane Matthew on the 2016 Nesting Season. Sea turtles utilize a reproductive strategy to survive unpredictable events like hurricanes. By laying multiples clutches of eggs (nests) over an extended period of time (2-3 months) at different locations along the beach they decrease the chance that all of their eggs will be lost to a single storm event. The green turtles may be particularly adapted to storm impacts, as they are the latest species to nest and there is a higher chance of storms and high tides inundating the beach during their season. The green turtles usually lay their nests very high up on the beach compared to loggerhead or leatherbacks. It is likely that this preference developed over time, as the nests that were laid up high would be more likely to hatch despite storms or high tides impacting the nesting beaches.
The 2016 nesting season was minimally impacted by surge and high tides due to Hurricane Matthew. It was fortunate that the storm did not make landfall in our area and this season was a low nesting year for the green turtles. By the time Hurricane Matthew arrived, over 90 percent of this year’s nests had already hatched. Of the remaining nests, we lost about 63 percent during the storm, so we estimate that there were about 450 nests still incubating on our beaches after the storm. Some of these nests might have been inundated with water for an extended period and therefore did not hatch, but we still had marked nests that remained high and dry during the storm, so there were definitely nests that survived and hatched after Hurricane Matthew passed.
RPI Reaches 50 Piers!
On Halloween day, we traveled north to Cocoa Beach to bring the Responsible Pier Initiative to its newest location. We had been working with our partners at the Brevard Zoo to organize a workshop for staff from the Sea Turtle Healing Center, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society, the Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary and the Cocoa Beach Pier, and on Oct. 31, everything finally aligned. The RPI has been steadily growing since its implementation on the Juno Beach Pier in 2013. To date, the initiative is responsible for the rescue of over 200 sea turtles and the removal of more than 8,000 pounds of marine debris. With the addition of the Cocoa Beach Pier, we are proud to say the RPI now has 50 participating locations! Read more about the 50th RPI installment.
There are no developing hurricanes and the skies look clear for our first Astronomy Nights program at LMC!
Join us on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. to enjoy a presentation on the highlights of this month’s night skies in partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches.
This month, our speaker will introduce you to the Pleiades, nicknamed The Seven Sisters, which is an open cluster of many stars in the constellation Taurus. Due to its composition of hot blue stars and nearness to Earth it is visible to the unaided eye. Thought to be about 100 million years old the stars in this cluster are gravitationally-bound right now, but will likely move apart in the next 250 million years.
After a brief presentation on what you will “scope out,” you’ll head down to high powered telescopes to see it for yourself.
Astronomy Nights takes place once a month at LMC with a different topic each session. From the Pleidedes to Andromeda, the night sky is always changing so no program is the same! No pre-registration required. Cost: $10/adult, $5/child. For more information on our Astronomy Nights program, please contact Hannah at email@example.com.
Sea Turtle Savers
Registration is now open for our first ever Winter Break Sea Turtle Savers program!
This week-long program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for five days of guaranteed, non-stop turtle-y fun for aspiring scientists ages 6 to 9! Junior scientists will join LMC staff as they explore Florida’s natural areas and learn everything sea turtle at one of south Florida’s busiest sea turtle rehabilitation centers. Participants will learn what it’s like to take a sea turtle from rescue to release through hands-on activities and by experiencing an active-working sea turtle hospital first hand. Upcoming dates include:
- Monday, Dec. 26 – Friday, Dec. 30, 2016
- Monday, March 20 – Friday, March 24, 2017
*Do you know someone who loves children and has a passion for marine science? We are looking for Counselors-In-Training (CITs) to help LMC staff during these Sea Turtle Saver Programs by assisting with activities, lessons and facilitating the fun!
Kids’ Pier Fishing. Do you know an aspiring young angler? Join us for a Kid’s Fishing Program at the Juno Beach Pier! Upcoming programs will be held on Nov. 26 and Dec. 4 from 8 to 11 a.m. Participants will learn basic techniques including knot tying, casting, species identification and proper release protocols in addition to conservation measures such as 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.
Private Fishing Lessons. For many, fishing is a way of life – rising and setting with the sun and spending countless hours on beaches, piers, and boats. It’s an activity that knows no age limit and is rewarding no matter the outcome. At the Juno Beach Pier, our staff aims to pass down the craft through private fishing lessons. Open to all, lessons are available on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. If you’d like to learn fishing techniques and how you can help protect and restore the marine environment from expert anglers, please contact Demi at email@example.com.
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: Mommy & Me paint!
‘Tis the season for family time and giving thanks to those who matter most in your children’s lives. Mommy & Me Paint! offers the perfect way to say “thank you,” turtle-style!
Join us any Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for our weekly Mommy & Me Paint class, where children ages 2-5 can enjoy a story time, sea turtle learning lesson and paint their very own ceramic sea turtle! These ceramics make great gifts to those who mean most to your aspiring artist.
Can’t make it to a program in time for the holidays? Contact Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a gift certificate to a Mommy & Me Paint class in the future and give the gift of a sea turtle experience to a loved one. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org/experiences.
Blue Friends Society Beach Clean-up
Congratulations to LMC’s Blue Friends Society, which won SWA’s Anita Lankler Outstanding Participation Award. We are so grateful for all of the Blue Friends Society’s hard work! We invite you to join this dedicated group of LMC supporters at their monthly beach clean-up on Saturday, Nov. 19.
In an attempt to reduce debris on our beaches, our Blue Friends Society started hosting monthly beach clean-ups. Since 2013, beach clean-up volunteers have helped us remove more than 3,000 pounds of debris. Thank you for helping us in our conservation efforts!
Event RECAP: TurtleWEEN
We had a “turtle-rific” time at TurtleWeen this past weekend! Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate fall festivities, march in our costume parade, enjoy fun face painting and so much more at LMC! Also, a huge thank you to everyone for helping us to reduce the amount of waste from candy wrappers by grabbing a reusable TurtleWeen bag and participating in our Candy Wrapper Recycling Program! Your support helps us continue to keep our environment clean and beautiful.
Guests can dispose of their children’s candy wrappers through Nov. 20 by using the TerraCycle bin on campus. At the end of November, LMC will collect all recycling bags for shipping to TerraCycle. Wrappers will be used to make school supplies and other re-purposed materials. Join us again next year for more spooktacular fun!
Check out this year’s event photos.
Black Blue Friday. Nov. 25, 2016. This Thanksgiving week, we are giving YOU and other community members a chance to give back to the ocean by going BLUE on Black Friday with LMC. Join us on Friday, November 25 at one of several locations throughout Palm Beach County and lend a hand in cleaning up our coastal parks, beaches and waterways as a part of our annual Blue Friday event. Choose where you’ll give back from the following locations:
- Park clean-up at Sawfish Bay Park (9-10 a.m.) 1133 FL A1A Alt, Jupiter, FL 33458
- Beach clean-up at Coral Cove Park (8:30-9:30 a.m.) 19450 County Hwy 707, Tequesta, FL 33469
- Marine Debris Recycling & Beach clean-up at Juno Beach Pier (9-11am) 14775 U.S. Hwy 1, Juno Beach, FL 33408
- In-water clean-up in the Lake Worth Lagoon (8-9:30 a.m.) Nautical Ventures – North location 139 Shore Court North Palm Beach, Fl. 33408
LMC staff will provide all materials needed* and each participant will receive one ticket for a FREE breakfast and Turtle Yard tour at LMC following the clean-up! Enjoy learning about our latest patients and what you can do to help cut down your waste during the holidays through interactive activities fun for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.marinelife.org/bluefriday or contact Hannah at email@example.com.
*Supplies limited and will be given on a first come, first serve basis at each site. Participants are encouraged to bring their own buckets and gloves for beach and park events. Discounted kayak rentals available through Nautical Ventures for in-water clean-up. Contact Stephen at 561-612-7076 for reservations and mention Blue Friday for discount; pre-registration required for in-water removal event at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE-THE-DATE: BEach Bash Palm Beach
Beach Bash Palm Beach, presented by Lilly Pulitzer is the social highlight of the season! More than 600 guests will descend upon the posh Beach Club on the island which made Lilly Pulitzer an iconic resort wear brand. Decked in their brightest Lilly, guests will celebrate “Life Under Printed Palms” while enjoying fabulous fashion, colorful cocktails, delectable bites and pulse-quickening entertainment while mixing with young philanthropic leaders from around the globe. Proceeds will benefit Palm Beach’s ocean & sea turtle conservation hub Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Saving sea turtles never looked so good! To purchase tickets, please visit Beach Bash.
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
We would like to give a huge congratulations to LMC’s November volunteer of the month, Taylor Passine! Taylor is our fall semester Conservation Intern. Taylor started her internship in August and has already completed over 250 hours.
During her internship, Taylor has visited six Southeast Florida fishing piers from Ft. Pierce to Ft. Lauderdale every week. She collects surveys from anglers on the piers regarding their interactions with sea turtles and their knowledge of LMC’s Responsible Pier Initiative. Taylor will be traveling with the Conservation team to the Florida Keys Sea Turtle Workshop in Marathon, Florida in December to present her findings. Taylor also helps prepare reports, presentations and supplies for conservation projects.
Outside of LMC, Taylor loves outdoor activities and spending time with her family in Florida. She has recently been accepted to an AmeriCorps position and will begin her work in Arizona this January. Whether Taylor is painting candy wrapper recycling bags or copying documents on to endless numbers of flash drives, her positive attitude always shines through. We are so lucky to have Taylor at LMC this semester and wish her the best of luck in her new position! It is because of loyal and hardworking volunteers, like Taylor, that we are able to continue saving sea turtles. We thank Taylor for being such a great addition to the LMC Conservation Team.
#GivingTuesday, held on Nov. 29, is an event focused on giving back to non-profit organizations, in preparation we have decided to participate in #GivingTuesday’s social media campaign. In celebration, we have decided to share stories from our supporters, volunteers and staff members of why they give their time to contributing to sea turtle and ocean conservation. We encourage you to share your story of why you give (time, support, materials, etc.) to ocean and sea turtle conservation and use the hashtag #WhyIGive. Each Tuesday leading up to the event, we will post a volunteer, supporter or staff member’s story of why they give on our Facebook page. Leading up to #GivingTuesday, we will provide information and opportunities to give directly back to Loggerhead Marinelife Center or to our community.
So far this month, volunteers Laura Bruce and Lyssa Wintz shared their stories of why they give back to Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
Laura Bruce. “I think for me the reason I give back to these magnificent animals is because it’s nice to be able to help animals that have suffered from human-causes. A majority of the injured or sick sea turtles at the center have suffered from ocean pollution, boat strikes or were accidentally hooked,” said Rehab Volunteer Laura Bruce. For over six years, Bruce has dedicated her time to helping rehabilitate sea turtles at the center. We are thankful for volunteers, like Bruce, who devote their time to sea turtle conservation.
Lyssa Wintz. For over six years, Lyssa Wintz has given her time to helping sea turtles at LMC. Wintz, a rehab volunteer, can be spotted placing enrichment tools in patients’ tanks or taking care of hatchling sea turtles. Recently, she decided to get a tattoo of a green sea turtle hatchling (her favorite species) walking down the beach to begin its journey. Wintz’s love for sea turtles shines through in all aspects of her life.
Opportunities to Give Back to the Community
Toys for Tots. Loggerhead Marinelife Center is excited to announce our annual Toys for Tots drive in collaboration with the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce! If you’d like to participate, please bring a new, unwrapped gift for local children to Loggerhead Marinelife Center before Dec. 5. Please contact Demi at email@example.com with any questions.
Food Drive. One in six individuals in Palm Beach County does not know where his or her next meal will come from. This holiday season, we are collecting food items at Loggerhead Marinelife Center to donate to the Palm Beach County Food Bank. Some of the most needed items are: hot and cold cereal, rice, pasta, canned & dry soups, canned fruit, shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned beans and canned vegetables. If you are able, please bring a donation with you during your next visit. We will accept items until Dec. 17. Please contact Demi at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Mascot Corner: Thank you For Caring
Hello Friends, Fletch here, the loveable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot. My sea turtle patient friends current and past are very thankful for the medical care they receive at the center. LMC provides comfortable hospital beds, excellent room service for our daily meal, state of the art diagnostic technology, a veterinary pharmacy, and a surgical suite for our care. A state-of-the-art facility and equipment do not provide quality medical care, they are only an enabler. For quality care, you need four human components: a special doctor, great hospital staff, dedicated volunteers, and generous donors. At LMC, we have the BEST turtle doctor in the world, Dr. Charles Manire. He is that special doctor, caring, compassionate and dedicated to returning all of my friends, his patients to their true home, the ocean. To the hospital staff Nicole, Ashley and Samantha your countless hours of providing quality care: x-rays, meds, blood work and tank-side care is greatly appreciated even though we try to bite you sometimes. As Tony the Tiger would say “You’re GRRREEEEEEAT!!!” To those dedicated volunteers that keep our beds clean, feed us, and help the hospital staff treat us, you are “Number One” in our book. To our donors, who without your support, none of this would be possible, we say “Thank You.” Without your support, many of us would not be swimming freely today in the ocean we call HOME. Please continue to support LMC’s mission of rehabilitation, education, research and conservation. So at this time of thanksgiving and holiday spirits, my sea turtle friends and I say, “Thank you for caring” and wish all of you a very safe and joyous holiday season, and a prosperous new year.”
Make A Splash This Holiday Season!
When everyone is hosting holiday parties, why not stand out by making a splash! Set yourself a part from the rest, with our great holiday entertaining and hostess gifts, including hand-painted wine glasses, carved wood turtle wine bottle holders, decorative dish towels and aprons, candles, mermaid salt and pepper sets, cocktail napkins, serving dishes and platters, picture frames, hand soaps and much more. To alleviate some of the holiday shopping stress, our gift store now offers the option to pick-up e-store orders in the store and the option to ship your in-store purchase for a flat rate of $10. Now you can get the satisfaction of crossing holiday shopping off of your list, while you are on vacation. We look forward to helping you select your fantastic holiday gifts! *Don’t forget to mark your calendars with key gift store dates: Blue Friday on Nov. 25, Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26, Cyber Monday on Nov. 28 and Giving Tuesday Nov. 29.
Feelin’ the Blues: Seaside Style- VENDOR SPOTLIGHT With Anisa Stewart
Name: Anisa Stewart
Company: Anisa Jewelry Designs*
E-store Product: Jewelry
Where you’re from and currently reside: Fort Myers, Florida
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? To breathe underwater. I would love to be able to swim in the ocean with the animals.
How long have you been making/creating jewelry? When or how did you get into it? I started apprenticing for a hometown jeweler when I was 16. The jeweler wanted art students to apply, and I loved painting and drawing but never had been into jewelry. But when I saw how he created jewelry, it was exciting to me. And I worked with him for 15 years – everything I learned came from him.
How did you start selling your jewelry? I had two kids back-to-back, and in 2008 after my second, I decided to stay at home. After a year of that I decided to go back to jewelry making, and went to art shows on weekends to sell my pieces. I had to find my own creative design, though, because I didn’t want to take my old boss’ ideas. I worked at a wildlife sanctuary and I always loved the ocean and animals. So that’s how my jewelry designs came about.
Where do you get ideas for your jewelry? Everything is inspiration from the sea. Whether it’s a wave pendent or a sea turtle, I love everything in the ocean. And it’s part of why I continue creating marine-themed jewelry. My family and I volunteer time at various places that help to conserve and take care of our wildlife. It’s our world, so we need to take care of it.
If you could describe your style of jewelry, what would it be? Everything is carved from wax first, then I carve the detailed designs into metal. It’s very three dimensional, and I do bronze or sterling silver. When I use patina, that gives the jewelry a pop of color, and it pulls in the nautical theme, because many boats and old ships have bronze components.
What is your favorite thing you’ve ever created? In my contemporary collection, I have a ring called “Moving waves.” It’s very fluid. But, I just created this new octopus ring and I love it. Right now, my favorite marine animal is the octopus – I just got a tattoo of one! I love their color and how they move and their adaptability.
Where is your favorite place to see art. I do 25 art shows a year, so I end up purchasing a lot of art at those shows myself. I am enamored with anything in the ocean – I love pictures of fish, mermaids, sea life sculptures, you name it. Art shows are a great way to meet artists and see what their inspiration is too.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard about art/creativity? I guess it would be the saying do what you love. If you’re an artist, of course, you have to be a business person too. You should create what you love but you have to think about what other people love. But I am truly blessed that I get to do what I love as a living.
*Anisa Jewelry Designs donates 10 percent of sales to Loggerhead Marinelife Center. When you support her, you’re also supporting LMC!
She Said “Shell Yeah”
A few weeks ago, Loggerhead Marinelife Center released five sea turtles at once during one of our largest public sea turtle releases. This anomaly made the event special in itself, but one guest had an extra special surprise planned. Katie Richmond has always had an affinity for loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles, especially the ones receiving care at LMC. For the last 10 years, Richmond has routinely visited the center, adopted sea turtles, attended releases and even purchased a nautical ornament each year from our gift store for her future family’s Christmas celebrations. As a passionate sea turtle advocate, Katie attended the release of our five sea turtles simply to watch her favorite marine animals make their recovered journeys back home.
However, her boyfriend Ty Livingston had a different plan in mind – he was going to propose. For Ty, it was a no-brainer – the release happened to fall on the same day as Katie’s birthday. Wanting to make the proposal a surprise, Ty told Katie that he had to be at work during the release. Originally, Ty and Katie’s family thought the proposal would be an intimate, unnoticed affair off to the side of the release, but instead several guests, staff, volunteers and news outlets noticed the proposal. Before the couple could exit the beach, they were bombarded with picture requests, including one from Fletch.
After Katie said “yes,” Ty and Katie headed into the gift store to commemorate their special day by adopting Dory. When we asked Katie’s mom if the couple had a favorite sea turtle at the center other than Dory she told us “Truth be told, they fell in love with all of them!” We are incredibly grateful for Ty, Katie, and their families for combining their special moment with the celebration of five of our sea turtles returning home. Thank you to Ty and Katie for continually supporting LMC and choosing to be self-less on such a special day. In January 2018, the couple will return to the beach setting to say “Shell yeah I do.” From everyone at LMC, we wish Katie and Ty a turtle-y wonderful engagement and marriage!
THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING SUPPORTERS
Many thanks to Gretchen Scott’s Jupiter Store, which hosted a pop-up shop at LMC’s Eighth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon and donated all proceeds to our center. The shop raised over $3,000 for LMC at the event. We thank Gretchen Scott for their continued support of LMC!
Special thanks to Kyra Bergman, who raised funds for LMC and educated her friends and family about the center through her Bat Mitzvah project. Kyra is very passionate about helping LMC rescue sea turtles and is “proud of how many sea turtles have been cured and released.” Thanks for all your hard work, Kyra!
A special thank you to Bianca Clark and her class of first graders for gaining the support of their entire school! While visiting the center on a field trip, Clark’s class from Galaxy Elementary were able to witness a new patient come in. The green sea turtle patient from Boynton Beach arrived to the center while Clark’s class was visiting the center. When Hospital Coordinator Nicole Montgomery, CVT was bringing the turtle to its tank in the yard, the turtle had not yet been named. Clark’s class of first graders from Galaxy Elementary, also in Boynton Beach – were excitedly watching and suggested the name ‘Galaxy‘ and Nicole was able to honor their request. After Clark shared Galaxy’s patient page link with the whole school, several teachers decided to correlate different activities or lessons in Science involving the turtle.
Manatee Awareness Month
At our Eighth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon, globally acclaimed photographer and marine biologist Paul Nickeln shared a few of his stories from documenting Florida manatees in Crystal River and Blue Springs, Florida. Through his awe-inspiring images and captivating story-telling, Nicklen addressed the importance of protecting and conserving all animals. Manatees, such as the ones at Manatee Lagoon − An FPL Eco-Discovery Center, and sea turtles play an integral role in the overall health of Florida’s ecosystems.
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. 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.
Nicklen’s late October speech especially resonated with us as we move into Manatee Awareness Month and think of our friends at Manatee Lagoon, an FPL eco-discovery center that educates guests about the Florida manatee, easily seen in the wintertime just outside of the center. Manatee Awareness Month kicks of the start of manatee season, which officially starts on Tuesday, Nov. 15. During manatee seasons, slow-speed zones take effect along South Florida waterways to protect migrating manatees from being struck by a boat. The season begins when the manatees migrate from colder waters to congregate in warmer waters, commonly found near South Florida’s power plants.
During Manatee Awareness Month, we encourage you to take the time to spread information about the gentle sea cow. If you live in South Florida or a place where manatees congregate during manatee season, then please consider visiting Manatee Lagoon. The Manatee Masters at Manatee Lagoon will provide you with all of the educational materials you will need to spread awareness. For additional ways to participate in Manatee Awareness Month, please refer to Manatee Lagoon’s activity calendar.
Manatee Lagoon Talk – Join us on a walking tour of our visitor center and learn about manatee anatomy, physiology and the importance of GPS tracking devices, as well as the Lake Worth Lagoon. Nov. 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29 and 30 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and November 27 from 2-3 p.m.
Mindful Moments Yoga (Adult) – Join Manatee Lagoon for yoga classes against the beautiful calming backdrop of Lake Worth Lagoon. Nov. 12 from 2:30-3:30 p.m and Nov. 17 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.
Junior Aqua Lab – A series of four experimental activities that deal with some of the properties of water. Ages 9 to 14. Nov. 13, 20 and 27 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
October Lecture Series:
LMC is Looking FOr you!
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is growing at a dramatically accelerated pace, as we continue to grow we are seeking to add key individuals to join our education department. Currently, we are looking for a Public Programs Intern, Education Administrator and School Programs Coordinator. LMC is searching for detail oriented, self-motivated individuals with experience in environmental education and a passion for sea turtle conservation. If you think you’ve got what it takes, then apply online.