June 2017 Newsletter


Jack Lighton

Dear Friend of LMC:

Hello from Juno Beach, Florida – where summertime activities are in full swing!

Don’t just run… Run 4 The Sea! Our team is busy prepping for our popular Run 4 The Sea event, set for this Saturday, June 17. This benefit race will welcome over 600 participants who will run in support of LMC’s sea turtle and ocean conservation initiatives. Children are welcome to participate in our one-mile kids’ fun run. And this year, we are welcoming a new opportunity for runners – the Run 4 The Sea Virtual Run! We thank our sponsors, staff and volunteers for their tremendous support of this wonderful community event.

Back by popular demand, LMC’s Junior Marine Biologist (JMB) summer camp is in session. JMB Camp allows younger guests near and far to take part in an action-packed week of interactive learning built around LMC’s sea turtle and ocean conservation portfolio. This fun, interactive summer camp is perfect for young guests between the ages of 6-17.

The 9.5 mile stretch of beach that Loggerhead Marinelife Center monitors is one of the busiest nesting beaches on our planet. LMC’s research team has already marked over 5,100 sea turtle nests, and the season does not conclude until the end of October. In addition to marking nests, our research team has already observed nests hatching out – the babies are back! Please help us keep our local beaches dark and extra clean. Clean and dark beaches help protect nesting sea turtle females and also allow for safer passage for hatchlings that emerge from their nests and take their first swim in the ocean. Our next beach clean up is July 5. Please join us as we help to protect and preserve our beautiful beaches.

With your help, LMC has achieved record-breaking success. In order to increase our impact, it is time for us to expand. In 10 short years our campus, powered by our team of staff, volunteers and supporters, has become one of the most-visited destinations in our community. Our Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign will transform LMC’s ability to deliver more impact here at home and around the globe. Now is a wonderful time to consider a legacy gift to our campaign, as we are currently faced with a wonderful matching grant opportunity from LMC Board Member Roe Green and the Roe Green Foundation. If you are interested in becoming a campaign member, please contact Lynne Wells, capital campaign director at (561) 627-8280 ext. 102 or at lwells@marinelife.org.

Sea turtles tell us the health of the ocean; the ocean tells us the health of our planet. Thank you for your continued support. We hope to see you on campus soon!


With Gratitude,

Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO

Save-THe-Date: LMC Events

  • Run 4 the Sea. On June 17 from 7-10:30 a.m., our Sixth Annual Run 4 The Sea will be held in beautiful Juno Beach along the scenic Atlantic Ocean and A1A, celebrating ocean conservation and endangered sea turtles. The event features a fun one-mile run for children and a four-mile run for adults, as well as a post-race celebration with music and breakfast.

  • July 5 Beach Cleanup. Each year, there are many coastal celebrations around July 4 that leave unwanted debris on our beaches and coastal parks from celebratory fireworks, streamers and/or balloons. Join LMC staff and volunteers as we trek our local beaches and collect discarded debris to keep our oceans clean, blue and trash free! If making a cleaner ocean for marine life isn’t enough, clean-up participants will each receive one drawing ticket for a chance to win a several awesome prizes, including a sea turtle adoption and plushie! Clean-up will begin at 9 a.m. on the back deck of LMC and last until 10 a.m. Debris removed from all clean-up efforts get sorted, recorded and properly disposed by our amazing sorting team. For more information, please contact Demi Fox at dfox@marinelife.org


  • Blue Friends Society Beach Cleanup. Join Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Blue Friends Society on Saturday July, 15 at 8:30 a.m. for the monthly beach clean-up. Following one-hour of cleaning the beach, join us for a light bite sponsored by Whole Foods Market in Palm Beach Gardens. Help us keep the very beach that our turtles call home free from trash and litter. Complimentary breakfast and coffee by Oceana Coffee will be served. Please RSVP to bluefriends@marinelife.org. This beach clean-up is sponsored by Kirstin and Telby Turner


Are you An Ocean Ambassador ?

Our education department is calling all ocean ambassadors to join us for a month filled with ocean conservation programs for all ages.

  • Hatchling Releases. Join LMC staff for an evening presentation about Florida’s sea turtles led by our experienced volunteers! From sea turtle identification to natural behaviors, guests will enjoy an evening presentation before getting an opportunity to watch hatchlings crawl to the sea under the dark sky for the first time. To register for one or more of our seasonal beach programs, please click here
  • Turtle Walks. Limited space still remains for our evening Turtle Walk program, where guests get the opportunity to watch a female sea turtle lay her eggs under the night sky. Guest also enjoy an in-depth presentation on sea turtle biology, ecology and current global conservation efforts to battle anthropogenic threats. Less than 40 spots remain and are filled on a first come, first serve basis online only at www.marinelife.org/turtlewalk
  • Travel for the Turtles: Serving the World’s Imperiled Marine life 2017. Travel with LMC and make your next vacation look (and do) good for sea turtles and the environment by joining our 2017 SWIM destination eco tour programs to Maui, Hawai’i! The Serving the World’s Imperiled Marine life (SWIM) program gives you the opportunity to experience hands on sea turtle research, rehabilitation and conservation efforts while experiencing a unique vacation to some of the world’s most unique marine ecosystems. Want to take a meaningful vacation this year? Take a glance at your Maui itinerary hereRead up on our 2017 destinations (including Hawai’i and Nicaragua) and detailed itineraries at www.marinelife.org/SWIM or contact Hannah at hcampbell@marinelife.org to book your conservation vacation.

  • 2017 Junior Marine Biologist Summer Camp. Our 2017 Junior Marine Biologist summer camp program has officially kicked off! Reserve your camper’s spot in our popular Junior Marine Biologist summer camp before we are sold out! This year, we have added two NEW sessions for aspiring Marine Biologists and we have seen a record-breaking amount of children ages 6-17 that want to spend time with the turtles this summer.

  • World Ocean’s Day Recap. We had a great World Ocean’s Day this year with interactive plastic pollution prevention activities and environmental programs! Guests were able to see the lasting and dangerous effects of plastics in our oceans and learn about sustainable alternative choices that lead to a healthier world ocean.

Conservation Corner

  • Cigarette Litter Prevention ProgramEarlier this year, Loggerhead Marinelife Center was named a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program grant recipient by Keep American Beautiful. The grant has allowed us to purchase cigarette receptacles for interested Responsible Pier Initiative partners. Implementation began yesterday on our very own Juno Beach Pier. In the next eight days, we will visit 14 piers, travel a total of 1,459 miles and install 47 cigarette receptacles. Follow our travels on the Conservation Blog! 


  • Meet the Interns. This term, we are lucky to have four interns from all over the country working for the Conservation Department. Steph, Sophia, Audrey and Taylor will be implementing conservation measures, recycling fishing line, sorting marine pollution collected from beach and underwater cleanups, collecting data and creating new initiatives of their own. Get to know the interns here
  • Juno Beach Pier Conservationist of the Month. Bill, our June Conservationist of the Month, is a regular spectator on the pier. Daily, Bill picks up fishing line, weights and other fishing debris left by fisherman. We are thankful for Bill’s conservation efforts in keeping our pier and beach clean. *All Spectator Conservationist of the Months receive 25 free spectator passes.


  • Deep Blue and You Yoga! Deep Blue Yoga and You! classes will be held on the beach next to the Juno Beach Pier on June 24 and July 22. Join us at 7:30 a.m. for a FREE 45-minute, slow-flow yoga class followed by a 15-minute beach cleanup. Please be sure to bring your own mat or towel, water bottle and any props you need. For more information on either program, please contact kufford@marinelife.org.

  • 2nd Saturdays on the Pier. On the second Saturday of each month, please join us on the Juno Beach Pier for live music, Kids’ Fishing Lessons and fishing lessons. This live music event is open to the public. Our regular pier fishing programs will occur as usual. For more information on our pier programs, please visit: www.marinelife.org/programs-events/visitor-experiences/

What’s New in Rehab?

World Sea Turtle Day. On Friday, June 16 our center will celebrate World Sea Turtle Day by telling the stories of a few of our sea turtle patients. Each of our patients, unique in case, requires treatment and therapy in order to recover. Some of our sea turtle patients have suffered from marine pollution ingestion, marine pollution entanglement and boat strikes. Daily, our hospital staff dedicates their time to providing critical care for our sea turtle patients. This World Sea Turtle Day, our hospital staff would like to call upon all eco-warriors for their help by donating a few items to the center. The items on our hospital wishlist are essential to maintaining the cleanliness of our hospital and patient tanks. Below, please find the items our hospital needs.

  • Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scour Pads (without sponges)
  • Concentrated Bleach (not the splash-less products)
  • Laundry Detergent (free and clear)
  • Dish Soap
  • Hand Soap
    3M DOODLE BUG PAD, brown, coarse (Found on Amazon)
  • Simple Green Solution – Gallon (Lowes or Home Depot)
  • Paper Towels


Sea Turtle Research. 

We are happy to introduce our two summer Research Department Interns, Wellsley and Heather. They will be assisting with morning nesting survey and gaining invaluable field experience on one of the busiest sea turtle nesting beaches in the world!

Heather Seaman

Hometown: Battle Creek, Michigan

This December I will receive two Bachelor’s degree in Zoology with a concentration in Zoo and Aquarium Science and Environmental Biology/Zoology from Michigan State University. This is my first time doing an internship with sea turtles. I have always have loved sea turtles, and after taking a herpetology class at Michigan State, my love for turtles grew and knew I wanted to do my capstone internship with sea turtles. The very first time I visited LMC, I knew that I wanted to be an intern at there. I am so excited to be a Nesting Season Intern at LMC and hope to gain all the knowledge and experience I can. After I graduate, I am considering moving to Florida to do more sea turtle-related work.

Wellsley Brown

Hometown: Jupiter, FL

I attended the University of Miami where I received my Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Biology in 2017. As an undergraduate student, I participated in various research efforts both locally and overseas while studying abroad at James Cook University in Australia. As an intern with the Loxahatchee River District, I assisted in the field and lab to monitor local water quality. Growing up in Jupiter fostered my love of the outdoors and my passion for marine conservation. I have always found it amazing to witness turtles nesting and hatchlings making their way to the sea. I look forward to this opportunity to work with LMC to help protect and learn more about these amazing creatures!

Morning Survey. The leatherback nesting season is starting to slow down and leatherback nesting typically ends by July. So far this season we have recorded 84 leatherback nests along our survey area. This season is shaping up to be a low nesting year for leatherbacks, with low nest counts recorded across the state of Florida and throughout the Caribbean. The loggerhead turtle nesting has been steady; we are on trajectory to have an average to high nesting season this year. As of June 8, we have recorded 3,802 loggerhead nests. Loggerhead nesting typically peaks late June to early July, so our biologists are interested to see how this season pans out. On May 27, we recorded our first green turtle nest on Juno Beach. Green turtles typically nest in alternating high and low nesting years, so we were anticipating this year to be an average to high season because of last year’s low nesting season. The greens typically peak nesting July to August.

The Leatherback Project. Leatherback turtle nest counts are still down for the year compared to other years. We currently have 91 nests. However, we are still seeing a number of them come up. During our nighttime surveys, we have encountered 27 individuals: 25 of those turtles were previously tagged. We have seen two turtles nest three times this year: “Gisli,” who was originally tagged in 2009 and “Katrina,” who was originally tagged in 2006. Two major projects are going on with these individuals: looking at the immune system effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals from plastics and metabolomic analyses to determine how health changes across the season. Additionally, we sampled and named (“Nessie”) our first green turtle who was previously tagged from another unknown location. We are currently in the process of trying to determine where she was first tagged. For the green turtles, we are looking to see if the virus that causes fibropapillomatosis in these animals is transferred from mother to offspring. It is currently unknown where turtles pick up this virus, and this project will help us answer if it is present in their system from birth. Follow our research efforts at www.marinelife.org/research.


Ed Rutkowski, Education Docent

For the month of June, we would like to recognize Ed Rutkowski as Volunteer of the Month.

Ed has been volunteering at Loggerhead Marinelife Center for two and a half years now. Since beginning at LMC, Ed has been an invaluable member of the education team. He enjoys volunteering at the Center so can give back to the community while educating the public on marine life and conservation.

Ed worked at the FPL Power Plant in Port St. Lucie as a contractor in the nuclear division. After retiring, he knew LMC was the place for him to be. He was spent countless hours in the turtle yard educating guests and promoting LMC’s mission and vision.

In addition to volunteering as an Education docent on Saturday afternoons he leads the Fish Feeding Program, helps set up at every turtle release, and comes in after hours to provide turtle yard coverage during special events. We are very fortunate to have such a great volunteer and a friendly individual.

Thank you Ed for all of your hard work at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. We speak for guests, volunteers and staff when we say we truly appreciate your dedication. Thanks again!

MASCOT CORNER: Schools Out For Summer

Hello friends, Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot. So friends, what are you doing this summer? Why not check out the “Fletch Fun Zone” for educational activities and coloring pages. Test your knowledge on sea turtles with various fun activities or just challenge your creative side with the coloring pages. School’s out for summer, now check out the “FLETCH FUN ZONE.”

Click here for coloring pages

Also, when you go on vacation this summer, take “Fletch The Explorer” with you. I don’t take up much room in the luggage and would love to travel with your family around home or around the world. Document the family’s vacation with “Fletch The Explorer” through photos. Then post those photos with a short write-up to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center Facebook page.

So, what are we doing this summer: camping, sailing, sightseeing, or cruising? How are we traveling: boat, plane, car, train or bus? Where are we going: White House, Grand Canyon, Great Wall of China, Big Ben, Great Barrier Reef, Disney World …? I better start packing. What do I need to bring: passport, sunscreen, camera, extra bathing suit and a surfboard? I love to travel, so when do we leave?

Click here to print out “Fletch The Explorer”


Support Sea Turtle Conservation!

  • Adoption Spotlight. If you have visited Loggerhead Marinelife Center this spring, you have likely met the beautiful Tommy B, a large juvenile green sea turtle being rehabilitated by our hospital team. Tommy B is named after one of our generous community partners, Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar at Harbourside Place. Tommy B was found floating near the Ft. Pierce Inlet with a carapace wound from an old boat strike injury. Initial radiographs showed a large amount of gas in the intestinal tract that was impinging on the lungs. Hospital staff administered fluids and antibiotics will continue to monitor the turtle closely. Starting this month, you will be able to become a proud adopted parent of Tommy B, supporting the Center’s ability to treat Tommy B and other turtles in our care.


  • Gift Store. Still looking for that perfect Father’s Day gift? Look no further with Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s marine-themed gift store or estore! From sea turtle ties to quality cologne to rockin’ shark dashboard bobbleheads, show your dad you care with a one-of-a-kind gift from our Center. Plus, all proceeds go directly toward our mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation, so you can feel good about your gift.

  • Following the Waves: Vendor Spotlight with Talizmani

Name: Jeffrey Aufiero and Pamela Shapiro
Company: Talizmani
E-store Product: Jewelry
Where you’re from and currently reside: Jupiter, Florida

How long have you been creating jewelry? When or how did you get into it?

Pamela: I started making jewelry when I was 18 years old. I was an art student that wanted to travel and see the world. So, I started creating handmade items to raise money for travel, and actually lived in Mexico for about 13 years. There, I made mobiles with things like shells, seeds and stones from those regions. About four years ago, I moved to Florida to take care of my grandmother, and when I met Jeffrey in the workshop he also expressed his desire to create. He had acquired beautiful sea glass while in the Bahamas and had such a great eye. I’d like to think we’re like Keith Richards and Mick Jagger!

Jeffrey: I’m a musician and a photographer, so initially my format of expression was more about writing songs and making music. Once I met Pamela, I started creating with my hands, and that’s how we got to where we are today. We started selling our jewelry at the local green market and built up an Etsy store to start. In 2013, we started doing wholesale.

Where do you get ideas for your jewelry? 

Pamela: It’s a combination of several things. Like maybe we took a trip and found a shell or stone. Our work is inspired by the natural world and what we find on our travels. It’s a combination of us coming up with different ideas. And by making the jewelry ourselves, it gives more integrity to the art we create.

Jeffrey: Nature is the best natural artist. We use what we find in nature and throughout different cultures. Living in Central or South America or traveling Asia, you get really inspired by what you see; what you experience. And I think that being a perfectionist really keeps you on your toes to be a better artist, to keep refining your craft. Pamela is a really prolific artist – she’s constantly creating and coming up with new ideas. And I always try to figure out how I can do things better. Really, it’s a constant flow of creativity.

How did you come up with the styles?

Pamela: I kid you not, I have a total mess in front of me. Even as we speak, every pearl, stone, shell and everything else is scattered in front of me. Then it hits me like a lightning bolt. If I don’t have it in front of me, it does not come. The pieces kind of talk to me, and I facilitate those processes that already exist. Jeffrey is an amazing visualist. For me, I can’t measure or cut something straight and I love clean lines and details, which he does so well. When I find a great piece, it feels so sacred and magical. The fact that a certain shell or seed washed up on the shore in that moment I was there feels like it was meant to be part of my creation. That’s one way I come up with a new design or piece.

Jeffrey: Pamela has been doing this a lot longer than I. Some days we pick up tribal design and components, and I’ll say I really want to work with those pieces or do product photography for the business. We know our strong points and use those to our best ability. For example, Pamela is better at editing the photos, and I like to visualize the shot in the first place.

What is your favorite thing you’ve ever created? 

Jeffrey: Some of my favorite includes our pieces that had elements from our trips to Bali and Thailand. We met a Pakistani man that had different pieces from Morocco, and we also bought some cool gypsy-inspired pieces. Over the past year, we tied these together with leather. That was one of my favorite things to make. And what’s really cool to me is that it went from my hand to someone who purchased and brought it home. It’s so cool to create something and see someone totally rocking it.

Where is your favorite place to see art?

Pamela: I went to the University of Arizona and their Center for Creative Photography has awesome displays of Diane Arbus’ and Ansel Adams’ work. I will say, though, that my favorite art is black and white photography. I also really enjoy local shows.

Jeffrey: I grew up in Philadelphia and New York, so there are great museums and galleries there that I love. But, I also love Art Basel and Wynwood Walls. There’s something super raw and cool about street art. It’s fascinating to me.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard about art/creativity?

Both: I think from being a musician for years and now being a visual artist, I’ve realized that the more I care less about what people like, the more I feel free to create things that are truly authentic. And to be the change in the world that we want to see.


Thank you to Kiwanis Club of Palm Beach Gardens, who generously donated to support the Passport Program at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. This program allows our team to increase the amount of Palm Beach County students we reach with educational initiatives, spreading important knowledge about turtles and their ocean home throughout our county’s schools.
Thank you to our wonderful partner, Lilly Pulitzer, for hosting a Shop & Share at their Gardens Mall location following the release of Lilly the turtle. We are so grateful for the support of this iconic Palm Beach brand!
Thank you to the presenting sponsor of Run 4 The Sea, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, as well as all the other amazing sponsors: Roger Dean Stadium; 24 Hour Health; Anchor Commercial Bank; Eavenson, Fraser, Lunsford & Ivan; The Gardens Mall; and Atticus Printing. Special thanks to our in-kind sponsors: Coastal Obsession, Boxed Water, Jersey Mike’s, Trader Joe’s, Dunkin Donuts, Burrito Brothers, Jupiter Bounce, and Florida Power & Light Company.
Thank you to the sponsor of this month’s Blue Friends Society Beach Clean-Up: Cornall, Ewing, Bellino & Associates.


Manatees in the out flow at Manatee Lagoon on Jan. 25, 2016.

Have you ever visited 
Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center?
 We are very thankful to have this wonderful partner in conservation here in the Palm Beaches! During your visit, you’ll learn about manatee and ocean conservation. While attending the center, you may see a few manatees in the lagoon and learn about how manatees play an integral role in the overall health of Florida’s ecosystems. 

We encourage you to take the time to spread information about the gentle sea cow, especially if you live in South Florida or a place where manatees congregate during manatee season. The Manatee Masters at Manatee Lagoon will provide you with all of the educational materials you will need to spread awareness. For additional information about manatees, please refer to Manatee Lagoon’s activity calendar.

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.

June Activities

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.


Mindful Moments Yoga (Adult) – Join Manatee Lagoon for yoga classes against the beautiful calming backdrop of Lake Worth Lagoon.


Rollology/Pilates Class – Join us for pilates classes against the beautiful calming backdrop of Lake Worth Lagoon.


Junior Aqua Lab – A series of four experimental activities that deal with some of the properties of water. Ages 9 to 14.


May Lecture Series: Every Sunday from 2-3 p.m., join the Manatee Masters and an expert speaker for a lecture to learn about a new topic every week!