CEO CHATTER WITH JACK LIGHTON
Dear Friend of LMC:
As we move briskly through February, it is that time of year where we remind everyone in the Palm Beaches that sea turtle nesting season is only a month away. For over three decades, LMC has faithfully followed in our founder Eleanor Fletcher’s footsteps monitoring a 9.5 mile stretch of beach, which is known as one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches on our planet.
Sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1 to Oct. 31 annually. During this time, we encourage beach goers, residents and businesses along the coast line to observe “Lights Out” season. Darker beaches make nesting safer for female sea turtle “moms” and also help to improve the odds of survival for sea turtle hatchlings. For more information and FAQs on nesting season, please feel free to read and share the information on this web page: www.marinelife.org/nesting.
Here at Loggerhead, we kick off the awareness campaign of our nesting season with our fun Lights Out Gala. In its 10th year, this year’s event also served to launch our Waves of Progress expansion campaign. Our gala was co-chaired by John Couris, an LMC board member and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center, and Roe Green, an LMC Board Member and CEO of the Roe Green Foundation. To kick off our campaign, Roe Green surprised Lights Out guests by announcing a matching grant of $250,000 to our capital campaign. For every dollar we raise, the Roe Green Foundation will match us dollar-for-dollar up to $250,000! We are honored to have Roe Green’s visionary leadership, and we look forward to satisfying her matching grant to raise critical funds for our expansion.
What is the Waves of Progress campaign? When we opened our campus in 2007, we were humbled that nearly 100,000 guests come to visit us. In 10 short years, we now welcome well over 300,000 guests and our conservation and education portfolio continues to grow. With success comes responsibility, and we know we can accelerate and amplify our conservation and education impact. For more detail on our how our expansion will create Waves of Progress, please visit www.marinelife.org/about/expansion/.
The month of February brings with it Valentine’s Day and we would love for you to consider honoring your “shell-mate” by adopting one of LMC’s adorable sea turtle patients. Sea turtle adoptions make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and they allow you and your valentine to become involved in the recovery and successful release of the patient. For more information on our Valentine’s Day adoptions, please visit: www.marinelife.org/adopt.
On behalf of our passionate team of staff, volunteers and supporters, I thank you for your continued passion and dedication to our mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation. It is because of your support that we are able to increase our impact here at home and around our planet.
We look forward to visiting with you on campus soon.
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO
RECAP: 10th Annual Lights Out Gala – Swashbuckler Soirée
A sea-faring crew of over 300 passionate conservationists attended Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s 10th Annual Lights Out Gala: Swashbuckler’s Soirée on Friday, Jan. 27, raising critical funds for the Center’s mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation.
Guests – some dressed in festive pirate costumes and some in coastal chic attire – spent an enchanted evening rubbing elbows with conservation royalty. Jungle Jack and Suzi Hanna, a conservation ambassador for the Center and Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the late Jacques Cousteau and judge for the Center’s Go Blue Awards Luncheon were among the guests at the annual fundraising event.
Guests enjoyed creative cocktails alongside the Center’s adorable sea turtle patients in the outdoor sea turtle recovery hospital, where informative talks with LMC staff and volunteers were offered. Guests enjoyed exclusive access to LMC’s ultra-advanced sea turtle hospital, where they were provided with an up close look at life-saving therapies, advanced equipment and demonstrations provided by hospital staff.
“This year we celebrated a full decade of hosting our Lights Out Gala,” said Jack Lighton, LMC president & CEO. “Our two extraordinary co-chairs Roe Green and John Couris, along with the help of our sponsors and guests, set the stage for our Center’s most successful event to date which included the launch of our capital expansion.”
After cocktails, guests moved into the gala structure, “the Black Pearl” to enjoy ravishing pirate-inspired entertainment produced by the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, a gourmet plated dinner prepared by Sandy James Catering, a silent auction of luxurious treasures and more. During dinner, LMC executive staff and board members shared a special surprise video with guests, publicly revealing the Center’s expansion plans and detailing the Center’s Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign.
“I live my life under the three T’s; it’s a trifecta – theater, travel and turtles,” said Roe Green, honorary co-chair of Lights Out and LMC board member. “What more could you want? We are here tonight to celebrate LMC, their contributions to our community and to our oceans. With success comes responsibility – won’t you join me in saving these sea turtles and their ocean home?”
Ms. Green then shared with the crowd that The Roe Green Foundation will give a generous community matching grant of $250,000 to accelerate the capital campaign.
“Roe Green is a tremendous visionary and trusted philanthropist,” said Mr. Lighton. “To have her support and investment in our Center’s next chapter is a wonderful endorsement of our work. In essence, Roe has enabled us to raise $500,000 towards our campaign and for that we are extraordinarily grateful.”
After the exciting announcements, guests enjoyed delectable deserts and danced the night away to the hottest tunes performed by a lively pirate-inspired band.
For more information about LMC’s Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, please visit www.marinelife.org/about/expansion.
The Lights Out Gala is named in honor of sea turtle nesting season, which runs from March 1 to Oct. 31 every year in Palm Beach County. For more information on keeping our beaches safer for nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings, please visit www.marinelife.org/nesting.
PNC Bank was the presenting sponsor of Lights Out for the fifth consecutive year. Additional sponsors included: Saks 5th Avenue; Gordon and Patricia Gray; Susan Johnson; Bruce Beal; Pratt & Whitney; The Gardens Mall; Eavenson, Fraser, Lunsford & Ivan PLLC; Jupiter Medical Center; Roe Green; Gunster; Sam and Meg Woodside; Betsy Munson; FPL; Loggerhead Marina; Tequesta Insurance Advisors; WLS Vitamins & Dr. and Mrs. Jefferson Vaughan; Bob Chlebek & Sandy Humbert; Pete & Lynne Wells; Koko FitClub of Abacoa Plaza; Alacrity Entertainment; Sandy James Fine Food & Production; Via Productions; Palm Beach Illustrated; Papas Pilar; Hamilton Jewelers; The Hunting Family Foundation; Caler, Donten, Levine, Cohen, Porter & Veil, P.A.; Dante Colussy and Connie Gordon; Nuvista Living; AW Property Co.; On the Mark Landscaping, LLC; Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Stewart Materials; Saltwater Brewery; and Interiors by G.
14th Annual TURTLEFEST – Together We Can!
This free, ocean-inspired festival, located at LMC and the surrounding Loggerhead Park in Juno Beach, anticipates over 10,000 people throughout the day to celebrate and learn about ocean conservation and the simple steps everyone can take to keep our oceans clean and beautiful.
Because the event is so large, it requires many hardworking and dedicated volunteers for the day, and LMC will need more volunteers than ever this year to help make TurtleFest spectacular.
TurtleFest will feature local vendors and art, games, conservation activities, live music, craft food and beer, up close interactions with the Center’s sea turtle patients and more. And for the first time, LMC will host beach clean-ups in various locations on the morning of TurtleFest, and will eliminate single-use items at the festival. Guests can also pledge a conservation-minded life at the virtual pledge wall in the festival’s Conservation & Media Tent.
Volunteers can choose a four and a half-hour shift in the morning or afternoon and will receive a free meal and TurtleFest t-shirt. Those interested in volunteering in a variety of capacities can fill out an online application at www.marinelife.org/turtlefest or email Evan Nader, volunteer coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is also looking for artists to exhibit at the festival and vendors to sell eco-friendly, coastal-inspired merchandise. Visit www.marinelife.org/turtlefest or email Amanda Moore, marketing & communications coordinator, at email@example.com to participate as a vendor this year.
WHO’S YOUR SHELL-MATE?
With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air. It’s the perfect time to open up your heart and find your soulmate – well, we mean shell–mate. This Valentine’s Day, we have made it easy for you to find the one you turtle-y love. Take our quiz to find which of our sea turtle patients would be your shell–mate. If you fall turtle-y, madly in love, please consider “symbolically adopting” your perfect match.
A Night Under the Stars
Our Astronomy Nights program is offered once a month based on the activity of the night sky. Aside from learning about the stars and planets, this program also touches on light pollution and sky glow, encouraging guests to increase their awareness of their impact on the environment. The night will begin with a seminar led by the Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches, featuring highlights of the current night sky and end with a peer through powerful telescopes and binoculars to get a closer look.
The Moon, Earth’s only permanent natural satellite, is the fifth largest moon in our solar system. It rotates at the same rate that it revolves around Earth – synchronous rotation – which is why we only ever see one side. It is slowly moving away from the Earth at a rate of one inch per year. Constellation Gemini (the Twins) has seven stars with known planets. The brightest are golden colored Pollux and his brother Castor, a star that is actually six-in-one.
Cost: $10 adults, $5 children | Ages: Geared towards 8+
For more information or to reserve your spot, contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 627-8280 ext. 119.
Join Loggerhead Marinelife Center biologists on local eco-excursions and explore the diverse coastal ecosystems of Florida! From river to reef, participants will learn about local flora and fauna as well as gain an insight into the importance of these delicate ecosystems in their community. On Sunday, Feb. 12 from 8-11 a.m., participants will hit the water for a guided tour of our local waterways and help keep the seas clean, blue and trash-free along the way. Join us for our monthly 2017 programs:
February 12 – Debris-free Seas (8-10 a.m.)
March 12 – Sea Creature Discovery: Sea Turtles (8-10 a.m.)
April 9 – Fish ID & Snorkel Trail (8-10 a.m.).
May to September – Sea Turtle Beach Programs (Varies)
October 28 – Sea Creature Discovery: Twilight Tour (6-8 p.m.)
November 18 – Wild Child: Children’s Eco Adventure (10 a.m.-noon)
December 2 – Muck & Mangroves (9-11 a.m.)
*To register for one or more of these brand new Eco-Adventures, please visit www.marinelife.org/eco or contact Hannah at email@example.com and reserve your spot! Cost: $25 | Ages 12+, minors must be accompanied by adult.
Judy, Mayor Mort and Reilly Head Home!
We apologize for announcing Judy’s return home on such short notice, however in order to accommodate incoming sea turtle patients we have decided to release Judy today. Judy was released privately today, February 9, off of a beach near Coral Cove Park. Please visit our Facebook or Instagram for photos of Judy’s release.
Reilly and Mayor Mort will be released from Loggerhead Park on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. We invite you to cheer on the turtles as they make their journey back into the ocean. Pre-release procedures will begin at 10:30 a.m. in our outdoor hospital.
Thanks to the incredible support of our team of staff, volunteers, and supporters, one of our sea turtle patients, “Mayor Mort” named in memory of the former mayor of Juno Beach, Mort Levine, will be released during the week of Feb. 13. We thank the town of Juno Beach, Mayor Levine’s family and his friends for helping us to care for our patient. We know our former Mayor would have been very proud of our work and the community’s involvement in this process. For more information about our patient Mayor Mort, please visit the turtle’s patient page.
MARINELIFE DAY 2017: BENEATH THE BLUE – THE ART & SCIENCE OF MARINE POLLUTION
Marinelife Day at the Gardens Mall will be held on Aug. 19. This year, Loggerhead Marinelife Center will hold an art contest and science fair for students grades 3-12. Select artwork will be displayed at Marinelife Day and at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Selected young scientists will have the chance to work with Loggerhead’s conservation team on making their project a reality. For more information on the art contest, please contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the science fair, please contact Demi at email@example.com.
Loves In the Air at the Juno Beach Pier
Conservationist of the Month. Tony, our February Conservationist of the Month, is a big proponent of catch-and-release. He is always the first one on the pier to offer to help LMC to raise conservation awareness and practice safe fishing. For his unconditional efforts, we will be giving Tony 10 free fishing entrances.
Kids’ Fishing Lessons. Do you know an aspiring young angler? Join us for a Kids’ Fishing Program at the Juno Beach Pier! This year, programs will be held on the first and second Saturday of each month from 8-11 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. To reserve a spot in our fishing program, please contact Kate at (561) 627-8280 ext. 119 or firstname.lastname@example.org. *Space is limited.
Special Offer: Learning to fish is always better when you have a friend by your side. In February and March, we are offering Buy 1, Get 1 Kids’ Fishing Lessons. For more information, please visit: bit.ly/2iAXtx7. *Space is limited. We will only be able to offer 5 buy one, get one offers per Kids’ Fishing Program in February (2/11) and March (3/4 and 3/11). To register, please contact Kate at (561) 627-8280 ext. 119 or email@example.com and mention the offer.
Private Fishing Lessons. Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Juno Beach Pier staff is now offering Private Fishing Lessons for adults and kids ages 8 and up! If you’d like to learn fishing techniques from expert anglers and how you can help protect and restore the marine environment, please contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org. One-hour lessons are held on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Special Offer: With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we want to give our guests the opportunity for a special date – in the month of February we are offering Buy 1, Get 1 Private Fishing Lessons. *Space is limited. We are only able to offer 2 buy one, get one offers per Private Fishing Lesson. One-hour lessons will be held on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 7 am, 8 am, 4 pm, and 5 pm. To register, please contact Kate at (561) 627-8280 ext. 119 or email@example.com and mention the offer.
HATCHED OUT – REHAB RECEIVES FIVE HATCHLINGS
Loggerhead Marinelife Center received five hatchlings between Jan. 30 and 31. A nest was confirmed to be emerging from an area near the Breakers Palm Beach on Jan. 31 where the hatchlings were found. The female most likely deposited this clutch in late October or early November, after nesting season surveys were completed. We believe the hatchlings are hawksbills or hawksbill hybrids (hawksbill female mating with a loggerhead male or vice versa). Hawksbills usually nest late in the season, and the normal hawksbill hatchling scute patterns are consistent with our turtles’ scute patterns. Since the nest was laid so late in the season, the incubation time would be longer than the average hawksbill incubation time (60 days) due to colder sand temperatures. LMC will keep the hatchlings in rehabilitation until a weed line is spotted offshore, and they can be transported to their new home. Genetic testing will be done to determine if the hatchlings are hawksbills or hawksbill hybrids.
Invasive Species Day
There has been an invasion at LMC! On Feb. 20, join us to raise awareness of invasive species in South Florida during our Invasive Species Awareness Day event from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visitors will enjoy a python presentation, lionfish filet demonstrations and conservation activities for the entire family! Learn about the profound effects of exotic pet trade on native species and our local Florida ecosystems and meet and greet several south Florida invaders as you learn ways to protect our native wildlife. Not afraid to get dirty? Join LMC staff as we conduct a hands-on invasive plant removal project beginning at 9 a.m.-noon. Light lunch included for project participants!
Loggerhead Marinelife Center now offers workshops exclusively for homeschool students! This workshop series focuses on various marine science topics, including marine biology, coastal ecology, veterinary science, water quality, oceanography and ocean conservation. These workshops include hands-on activities and lessons for students ages 6-13.
Cost is $10/student for the two-hour program; one free chaperone per family is required (and must stay on campus for the duration of the program), but any additional chaperones will need to register as participants. Please view our website for all 2017 Homeschool Workshops.
Invasive Species. Students will learn about the threats of exotic and invasive species in coastal Florida by identifying species, conducting a removal project and watching our resident lionfish in action. Dates: Thursday, Feb. 16 (10 a.m.-noon) and Tuesday, Feb. 28, (10 a.m.-noon).
Junior Veterinarians. Students will learn about our sea turtle hospital and the process of rescue to release by rehabilitating their very own replica patient. Dates: Wednesday, March 8 (1-3 p.m.) and Wednesday, March 15 (1-3 p.m.).
Seasonal Camps Are Back!
Sea Turtle Savers Spring Break Workshop. Looking to get your kids outside this year? Join us for our NEW Sea Turtle Savers holiday break workshops this spring! Register your aspiring scientists to follow in the footsteps of our marine biologist staff members for a full-immersion marine science experience. Participants will learn the journey of our sea turtle patients through their recovery and what conservation tools they can use to make sure no sea turtles get injured on their watch! One day and multi-day sessions available on the following dates (click desired date below to register):
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ages: 6-9 years old
Cost: Daily rate: $45/child – Weekly rate: $195/child
JMB Camp Returns
Registration for our popular Junior Marine Biologist summer camp is now open and available for special, discounted rates not to be missed! Save over $50* during the Early Bird registration period from Feb. 1 to March 31 and secure your child’s camp spot early to ensure you get the session that best fits your summer plans.
This year, we have added two NEW sessions for aspiring marine biologists:
Turtle Adventures. Does your child have a love for all things sea turtle? Our Turtle Adventures session allows campers a first-hand look into a sea turtle’s life cycle from hatching to nesting. Campers will learn about the hatching process, experience nesting simulations, take a stance against marine debris, adventure on snorkeling excursions and more. Turtle Adventures encompasses sea turtles and their marine environment as well as a peek into the daily life of LMC’s sea turtle patients.
Sea Turtle Savers. Join us for our all-new camp session dedicated to aspiring sea turtle researchers, veterinarians and biologists! Our Sea Turtle Savers session will give your sea turtle lover an opportunity to be a marine science researcher, veterinarian and marine biologist throughout the week for a hands-on experience they won’t soon forget. Campers will learn the process of rescue to release as they participate in rescue and rehabilitation simulations, take a behind-the-scenes tour of our sea turtle hospital, go behind the gates of our sea turtle rehabilitation area and spend a day in the life of LMC staff.
Conservation Kids. Ready, set, SAVE! Watch as your child turns from camper to Conservation Kid as they learn the importance of ocean conservation for sea turtles, the ocean and their future. Campers will learn how to responsibly enjoy the outdoors while having fun fishing, canoeing and snorkeling safely searching for marine life. Each Conservation Kid will receive a Sea Turtle Safety award upon completion of the camp session and leave with tools and resources to implement responsible practices in their own community.
Field Experiences (Ages 14-17). Got a budding scientist on your hands? Our Field Experiences camp is designed to prepare high school-aged kids for a future in biology or related sciences. Campers will spend their days making observations about the local environments as well as experiencing them firsthand. Activities will include snorkeling excursions, seining for fish, lab experiments, dissections, sea turtle nesting surveys and more.
For more information on our exciting, “hands on, feet wet” summer camp program, check out our website.
Following each cleanup activity, LMC’s Sorting Team weighs each bag and empties the collected debris onto a tarp. The trash is sorted into several specific categories, counted piece for piece, and recorded into our database. Our hope is that by studying the trends in the amount and types of pollution that wash onto our beaches over time, we can better understand where the trash is coming from and better prevent it from being there in the first place. Learn more about the garbage we find and how you can help prevent it on our Conservation Blog. Subscribe to receive updates from the conservation team.
Science for Seniors. Seniors: it’s time to come out of your shells! Our seasonal Science for Seniors program is back and better than ever! This season’s theme is You and Your Health and features four brand-new sessions. All senior citizens are welcome to visit Loggerhead Marinelife Center and meet the host, Dr. Paul Brown each Tuesday at 2 p.m. from January through May. Dr. Brown is a graduate of Harvard and Tufts School of Medicine and has a warm, inviting personality to boot. 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 for yourself or a group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 627-8280 ext. 119. For more information about each segment of this four-part program, please visit our website.
Winter Seminar Series. We are thrilled to announce that our Winter Seminar Series is back! This year marks Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s (LMC) fourth annual series and we invite you to join us to learn about sea turtle ecology, research, rehabilitation and conservation. Winter seminars will occur each Wednesday throughout the month of February and is hosted by a variety of dynamic and accomplished marine science professionals in our community. The lectures will cover a multitude of topics and will include light refreshments. To register your attendance for this free seminar series, please RSVP to email@example.com or by calling (561) 627-8280 ext. 119. Kindly RSVP as space is limited.
Meet Me At The Beach (CLEAN-UP)
LMC hosts monthly clean-ups, which are organized by the Blue Friends Society, on the third Saturday of every month. These clean-ups are open to the public and are sponsored by Whole Foods Marketing in Palm Beach Gardens and Oceana Coffee. 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, Feb. 18 at 8:30 a.m.
Guests will meet the LMC Blue Friends Society at 8:30 a.m. (please note new time) at the back gate of the Center and help to keep our local ocean and beach environments free from trash and litter. We will clean the beach adjacent to LMC from north of the Center to the Juno Beach Pier and south to Town Center. We encourage volunteers to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun. Additionally, please bring a bucket to collect the trash – we have eliminated plastic bags from our beach clean-ups and have a limited supply of buckets.
MORNING SURVEY. The research department is currently prepping for the start of nesting season. We will begin daily surveys on March 1. In the next few weeks, leatherback sea turtles will begin to congregate near the Florida coastline to begin their nesting season – which typically runs from March – June. Last year, the very first sea turtle nest along the Florida coast was reported on Juno Beach on Feb. 24! The nest was reported by LMC volunteers during a morning beach walk, as morning surveys had not begun yet. We are excited to see when the first leatherback nest will be found this year!
NIGHT TIME SURVEY. Our Associate Director of Research, Dr. Justin Perrault, will manage our night time survey project this year. In March, we will begin nightly surveys to encounter, tag and measure leatherbacks along Juno Beach. In addition to this data, we will collect blood samples from each turtle for the metabolomics study that was started in 2016. For this study, we are collaborating with North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine to evaluate the blood samples. Metabolomics refers to the study of metabolic components of the blood to provide insight into the physiology of the animal at the time the sample in collected. This year, we would like to expand the metabolomics study to include both loggerhead and green sea turtles. We have applied for a research permit through Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to be able to tag and sample from the other two species that nest along our beach.
Meet the Staff – Education
As LMC continues to grow, our departments continue to expand. In 2017, we restructured the education department and added three new staff members. When visiting campus, please say hello to Evan, Kate and Katie.
Evan Nader, Volunteer Coordinator. Driven by his passion for the volunteer community, Evan joined Loggerhead Marinelife Center as the volunteer coordinator. Prior to his role as an LMC staff member, Evan served as a passionate volunteer across several departments, including greeter, field trip docent, turtle yard docent and birthday party volunteer. In his role, Evan is responsible for managing, coordinating and scheduling over 300 volunteers for all campus events, activities and programs. His primary responsibilities include volunteer recruitment, volunteer training, improving the on-campus experience, maintaining high visibility throughout LMC’s campus, and evaluating all volunteer positions. Evan is known for his enthusiastic attitude and strong commitment to LMC’s mission. Prior to his role at LMC, Evan held various positions in the customer service industry, including retail and event management.
Kate Ufford, Education Administrator. As Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s education administrator, Kate serves as administrative support to the education department. Her primary responsibilities include managing department correspondence, scheduling school-based and public programs, maintaining program attendance database, tracking availability and distributing of funding for school programs, coordinating education room rentals, and overseeing education department volunteers. Additionally, she serves as a liaison to the marketing department to ensure that the marketing department has all content needed for education publications, promotional materials and program advertising. Previously, Kate actively served in various education volunteer positions including education docent, tour guide, and program leader.
Katie Lizza, School Programs Coordinator. A former educator at Palm Beach Maritime Academy, Katie joined Loggerhead Marinelife Center to serve as the new school programs coordinator. Her role focuses on developing curriculum and other activities for field trips, homeschool workshops, school outreaches, virtual field trips, Turtles to Go, and the Marine Science Academy. Additionally, she manages volunteer trainings for existing and newly developed field trip programs. Driven by her passion for environmental education, Katie previously obtained a graduate degree in marine science from the University of South Florida. Drawing on her past experience working with middle and high school students, she designs the program curricula with a youth-centered focus.
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH & Year
MASCOT CORNER: WHat Season Is It Going To Be?
Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot. Do you know what season it’s going to be? You may have answered spring training, spring break or even spring cleaning. All good answers, but here at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Florida, it’s going to be “SEA TURTLE NESTING SEASON.” Yes, from March 1 through Oct. 31, leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles nest on area beaches. It’s a very busy time of year for the Center’s research department: 1) The leatherback team monitors approximately six miles of beach from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. from March 1 through mid-June, documenting nesting data: measurements, blood, DNA and nest location for leatherback sea turtles, and 2) The nesting team documents and records daily the GPS location of nests and false crawls on approximately 9.5 miles of beach. A false crawl takes place when a nesting female crawls up on the beach and then returns to the ocean, but does not nest. This team also documents the actual nest results for approximately 10 percent of the documented nests.
Our area beaches are a very productive nesting habitat for sea turtles. Last year the Center’s nesting area, 9.5 miles of beach, had over 16,000 documented nests and approximately 1.3 million hatchlings.
What can you do to ensure that beaches remain “sea turtle friendly” for nesting females and hatchlings?
- Be mindful of beach front lighting (lights out), “Sea turtles dig the dark.” Lights disturb nesting turtles and hatchlings
- Avoid disturbing marked nests
- Take your trash when you leave the beach, especially plastic bags
- Participate in beach cleanups to remove trash from the beach
- Avoid using flashlights, lanterns or flash photography while on the beach at night
- Remove all beach chairs, coolers, blankets and umbrellas from the beach at night
- Fill in all holes you dig on the beach and knock down all sand castles, when you leave the beach
My sea turtle friends and I thank you for your support in keeping beaches “sea turtle friendly”.
It’s A Date! Valentine’s Day at LMC
Mapping the Ocean of Life – Vendor SPotlight With Carly Mejeur
Name: Carly Mejeur
Company: Carly Mejeur
Gift Store Items: Prints, lunch totes and more!
Location: Lake Worth, Florida
How long have you been making/creating paintings?
I went to Bak Middle School, where I focused on communications and writing. And my elective art teacher said “Can you just switch already to art?” My college classes were mostly geared toward galleries and museums, but here in Florida everything is different. And the kind of people I want to reach are everyday people, so the gallery scene isn’t for me anymore. Having my work in gift stores and art shows is what I want I want and communicates the importance of our oceans more. I also went to Dreyfoos, and from there I knew I wanted to go to art school. But Maryland Institute College Art at the time was the top painting school in the country, which was really cool. I did landscapes, portraits and figures with oil paint primarily. I received my BFA in painting and a master’s in art education. I don’t think I got into watercolor until later. And I did some ceramics because I wanted to get into teaching art. In the meantime, I was life guarding for Palm Beach County Ocean rescue in the summers, so that’s how I got to keep in touch with the ocean. So I loved art and the ocean but didn’t feel like I could connect my two loves. But I came back to Florida and got a job at Palm Beach Maritime Academy. There, they do plywood regattas and lots of beach clean-ups. That helped me see what I could do as an artist to help the environment.
When did you get into art and specifically watercolors?
I’ve been doing the nautical charts for four years or so. My friend’s dad was a boat captain with Mel Fischer and had a ton of charts. He was going to throw them out, but asked what I could do with it. So I made a painting for him, myself and some friends. It really started as something to do, but as I painted the sea creatures on the maps, I realized I could connect the animal to different lines on the charts, as if the creature belonged there. Then it took off, and I was invested in making that statement. My prints that are specific local places in South Florida are limited editions of 50. Also, the lunch totes that have my nautical chart series are in collaboration with the Art of Lunch – created as a way to eliminate plastic sandwich bags. It’s been really successful!
What other artists have inspired you?
One of them is Wendy Artin. She does mostly figures in ink wash, and they are kind of focused on letting the viewer imagine things; capturing the essence but not overworking the piece. Lucian Freud is another artist, and of course, Wyland and Guy Harvey. I think the fact that they are able to create these ocean foundations and make programs for kids is a great thing, and I so admire their business model and mindset.
What is your favorite medium to work with? What medium would you like to try but haven’t yet?
I would try a lot of different kinds, but I would love to try collographic printing where you can change the colors. Or to work and practice in metal with cool patinas. It’s such a science and it’s hard! In fact, I wanted to be a marine biologist but then I realized I needed to be good at science!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard about art/creativity?
I think it took a long time to figure it out, but people need to know every day is a new day and it’s exciting to be doing what I should be doing; where things fall into place. So keep trying to discover yourself before just trying to do what will make you money, or what others are doing. You’ll be more successful and happier if you do what you love now.
What do you try to communicate with your art?
I hope that when Florida natives see my work that they realize, “that’s my home; that’s where I live.” That’s the vibe I want to extend to Floridian friends. For tourists, I want them to remember the image, and feel more connected to it, and do something about ocean conservation, like picking up trash. Simple things like that. We are here together on this place and need to be respectful of these other creatures and live harmoniously.
This Side of Paradise – Benefiting LMC
Celebrate living in paradise with us on at Elizabeth Ave Station‘s This Side of Paradise surf night benefiting our sea turtle patients! We will have a pop up shop and will receive a portion of proceeds. For more information and to register, please visit: www.elizabeth-ave-station.com.
THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING SUPPORTERS
Huge thanks to Skylar Mandell; since starting her own company, Florida Sea Turtle Company, Skylar has raised over $600 for LMC by selling handmade bracelets, which can be found in the LMC Gift Store. Thank you for your hard work to help the Center, Skylar!
Happy Birthday, Manatee Lagoon!
Happy one-year birthday to our partners at Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center! We are very thankful to have this wonderful partner in conservation here in the Palm Beaches! Last weekend, we enjoyed celebrating manatee and ocean conservation at Manatee Lagoon’s anniversary celebration. While attending the anniversary celebration, we saw dozens of manatees huddle for warmth, including a mother and her calf. While visiting the center, guests learned about how manatees 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.