July 2017 Newsletter


Jack Lighton

Dear Friend of LMC:


Greetings from Juno Beach, Florida, where sea turtle nesting season has reached its peak and our beaches are welcoming sea turtles by the thousands! Our research team is staying busy monitoring sea turtle nests and hatch-outs on the 9.5-mile stretch of beach Loggerhead Marinelife Center manages. Did you know that our beach is among the most densely populated sea turtle nesting beaches on our planet? We are thankful for all of our community members who help keep our local beaches clean during sea turtle nesting season, which runs March 1 to Oct. 31 every year.

Calling Ocean Heroes! Nominations for the 2017 Go Blue Awards have opened. Do you know someone who is doing great things to help our planet? Consider nominating them for a Go Blue Award. This year’s ninth annual event will return to PGA National Resort & Spa on Friday, Oct. 27 and will be presented by Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco-Discovery Center. We are excited to welcome Brian Skerry, one of National Geographic’s most celebrated photographers, to be our keynote speaker. Brian’s images and personal story of his commitment to ocean conservation will inspire our guests and award finalists. The nomination form for this year’s awards is hosted on our website.

We are a few short weeks away from Marinelife Day at the Gardens Mall. This day-long event offers something fun for the whole family and provides our community with an easy way to support LMC. On Marinelife Day, anything you purchase in the mall helps support LMC. All guests need to do is take their receipts to the mall’s customer service counter and they will record the receipt and donate a portion of your shopping totals to LMC. So, shop ’til you drop!

Calling all photographers! Returning for its third year, the Juno Beach Pier Photo Contest is back. Entries will be accepted until Aug. 11 and an independent panel of judges will select the winners of this year’s event. The winners will be announced at Marinelife Day at the Gardens Mall!

We are also excited to share with our supporters our 2016 annual impact report. Thank you for helping Loggerhead Marinelife Center achieve the highest levels of conservation and education impact in our Center’s history! Check it out here.

Sea turtles tell us the health of our ocean; the ocean tells us the health of our planet. Thank you for your passionate and generous support of our mission. We look forward to visiting with you on campus soon!

With Gratitude,

Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO


Save-THe-Date: LMC Events. 


Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon – Nominations for Florida’s most prestigious ocean conservation awards ceremony the Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon, will open nationwide on Saturday, July 15. Hosted by Loggerhead Marinelife Center, the Go Blue Awards Luncheon recognizes and awards four individuals and one business or nonprofit that have promoted, implemented or contributed to a “blue” lifestyle of marine conservation and have made significant contributions to improve and protect our oceans, beaches and wildlife. Nominations close Aug. 25. Find out more information HERE.


Juno Beach Pier Photo Contest – Our third annual Juno Beach Pier Photo Contest is here and we want your pier-spective. Photographers of all ages can submit their photo of the pier by Friday, August 11. LMC will showcase and announce the grand prize winner and additional winners at Marinelife Day at The Gardens Mall in the Grand Court at noon on Saturday, Aug. 19. Submit your photo to Hannah Deadman at hdeadman@marinelife.org.


2nd Annual Lionfish Festival – On Sunday, August 13 from noon – 4 p.m., join us for this FREE festival, featuring cooked lionfish samples, children’s activities, filet demonstrations and live cooking by chefs from across the USA as they compete for Best Dish! In collaboration with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), the festival is to raise awareness of the threat of invasive species to our beautiful, native ecosystems. Interested in sampling each dish from the competing chefs? Purchase a VIP bracelet and enjoy two complimentary Lagunitas beers, receive a tour of our outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation area and have full access to lionfish cuisine like you’ve never tasted before! These bracelets are limited in number and sell out quickly. Pre-purchase your tickets today HERE.


Are you An Ocean Ambassador ?

Travel for the Turtles: SWIM with LMC to Maui, Hawai’i – Travel with LMC and make your next vacation help 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.



High School Student Field Experience Opportunities – Got a budding scientist on your hands? The week of August 7, our Field Experiences camp will prepare high school-aged (14-17) kids for a future in biology or other related sciences. Campers will spend their days making observations about the local environments as well as experiencing them first hand. 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” high school field experience check it out HERE.


Biologist Beach Walk – Register for our newest and best kept secret beach program this summer and experience a closer look at the research behind sea turtle nesting season! As a participant on our Biologist Beach Walk program, you will have the opportunity to observe a live nest excavation by one of our staff sea turtle biologists as they collect real data used to evaluate local hatch success. Take a moment to ask questions as you learn to identify clues left on the beach in the morning about the previous night’s nesting (and perhaps catch a nester as she leaves the beach), or snap photos of any healthy hatchlings that are found and released to sea during the program! Advanced registration required. To register, visit www.marinelife.org/beachwalk or contact Caroline at ctapley@marinelife.org.


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 sea under the dark sky for the first time. To register for one or more of our seasonal beach programs, please visit HERE


Conservation Corner

Marinelife Day 2017: Art Contest & Science Fair Deadline Extended – This year, at Marinelife Day at the Gardens Mall on August 19, Loggerhead Marinelife Center will hold an art contest and science fair for students ages 6-18. Artwork and science projects focused on the top five deadliest marine debris items will be showcased at the event. Select projects will have the chance to work with LMC staff to make their project a reality! The project proposal deadline for both programs has been extended to July 28. For more information, please email art.science@marinelife.org.


Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in Puerto Rico – Last week we headed to the Caribbean to implement the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) across the main island of Puerto Rico and the island of Vieques. We worked with our Responsible Pier Initiative partners at Black Beard Sports and TICATOVE to install cigarette ash receptacles, reinstall Sea Turtle Safe Project SHIELD signs at popular dive spots and even made time for an underwater cleanup. See the highlights from our trip on the Conservation Blog.



Juno Beach Pier Conservationist of the Month – Kathy has been awarded July’s conservationist of the month. She is a constant help on the pier, picking up fishing line and other debris left behind. We are thankful for Kathy’s ongoing efforts to keep our pier clean. All Conservationist of the Month winners receive 25 free spectator passes.


What Goes Up… – Happy 4th of July! While we all look forward to holiday BBQs, beach days, and colorful fireworks displays, the inevitable truth is that all of these celebrations tend to leave trash behind. This is especially important on Independence Day as it falls at the height of sea turtle nesting season on our densely nested beaches. We gathered a group of volunteers to do some damage control and learn a bit more about the types of debris we could find.



SEA Turtle releases

This month, we released three turtles to their ocean home! Krebster and Dr. Paul were both released on Wednesday, July 12. Both turtles are sub-adult loggerheads and were admitted to our hospital in April. In their initial blood work, Krebster and Dr. Paul both showed anemia, hypoglycemia and overall poor health due to starvation. Hospital staff administered fluids, antibiotics and iron. They both were also put into freshwater to remove the barnacles and other epibiota that covered their bodies. Krebster and Dr. Paul both fully recovered and were ready to be sent home. Thank you to our whole team of staff, volunteers and supporters for all the work put into getting these turtles home.

Dusty was also released this month on Tuesday, July 18. Dusty, named after Washington Nationals Manager Dusty Baker, is a small sub-adult loggerhead that was brought to us in February. Initial blood-work showed anemia, hypoglycemia and overall poor health due to starvation. Hospital staff administered fluids, parenteral nutrition, antibiotics, vitamin supplements and iron. Dusty was put into freshwater to remove the barnacles and leeches that covered most of body. Dusty slid into home with the whole crowd cheering him on! Thank you to everyone who came out! Check out the photos on our Facebook page HERE.


What’s New in Rehab?

The hospital staff at Loggerhead Marinelife Center is pleased to announce their latest efforts toward sustainability and cutting-edge medical technology! LMC recently implemented the Center’s first-ever completely electronic medical record-keeping system, Caretta.

It took 14 months to build the revolutionary record-keeping system. Now, instead of writing individual stranding reports and records, LMC’s veterinary staff can create and view all sea turtle patient information directly in Caretta. They can also upload ultrasound, radiograph and endoscopy images and check patient records from anywhere on campus or offsite. Plus, the tablets and Teguar medical grade computer used can sustain even the messiest projects, including food preparation.

“We are so grateful to have the Caretta system,” said Dr. Charles Manire, LMC director of rehabilitation and research. “This innovative technology will greatly aid in producing accurate and timely patient records, as well as increase efficiency and sustainability in the sea turtle hospital.”

Not only is the system more efficient and reliable; it’s also a major effort toward conservation. Using Caretta on a daily basis will greatly eliminate the amount of paper, folders, filing cabinets and other materials, which will help reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint, on campus waste and honor Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Campus Sustainability Initiative.

Caretta is a custom electronic medical records system powered by Arkelope Design. Learn more at http://caretta.works/.


The research department has great news to share! We are just 13 green sea turtle nests away from hitting our all-time green nesting record on the 9.5-mile stretch of beach we monitor. Despite a slightly slow start, we are now anticipating a record nesting year for green sea turtles. Our previous record season was 2015, with 5,443 green turtle nests. During the month of June, we averaged about 50 new green sea turtle nests each night. Greens tend to nest in alternating high to low nesting years. Stay tuned for more updates!


Sea turtle nesting activity peaks in late June – early July of each year along our beaches. The 2017 season has been a very exciting year for our research team. As of July 11, we have recorded 97 leatherback nests, 8,487 loggerhead nests and 2,789 green turtle nests.

Leatherback nesting typically comes to an end by July. The most recent leatherback nest recorded was laid on July 4 on Jupiter Beach. This year was a low nesting season for leatherbacks. We are not sure why the leatherback nesting was low this year, but we are hopeful that their numbers will be higher in 2018. During the month of June, our research team
recorded and average of 100 new loggerhead nests each night!


Leatherback turtles have been nesting less frequently, and we currently have 97 nests. We have switched our nightly patrols to focus on green turtles. Currently, we have tagged 20
nesting greens. The majority of the animals we are encountering have not been tagged in the past. However, we have a couple of interesting stories. One green turtle that we tagged and sampled was originally seen in the Indian River Lagoon as a juvenile in 2006. Since then, she has grown 40 centimeters. This individual (“Wayne”) was originally seen with fibropapilloma tumors. None of the tumors were observed during her encounter on Juno Beach, indicating that her immune system likely strengthened through time as she matured and was able to combat the virus. Another individual (“Katlyn”) had a tag indicating that she was first observed in Havana, Cuba. We are still trying to track down exactly where she was first seen.




For the month of June, we would like to recognize three volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Britta Steinhorn, Beth Quisenberry and Carol Millard have all earned volunteer of the month.

This group travels well together: they ride to their Monday morning education shift together and are the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave. Often referred to as the Monday Morning Turtle Girls (alongside Betsy and Ceil) these docents always help with field trips, private tours and education programs. They are experts at presenting and scouting for our Turtle Walk program. Britta and Carol both help twice a week with Turtle Walks: in addition to their regularly scheduled shift!

Thank you to Beth, Carol, and Britta for all of their hard work and dedication here at LMC!


MASCOT CORNER: Say no to Plastic Bags

Hello Friends, Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot. Humans use a lot of plastic bags each year. It’s estimated around 500 billion to one trillion. That’s a lot of plastic bags and a number of them end up in my ocean home and then injure my sea turtle friends. They think plastic bags are yummy jellyfish, but boy are they wrong. They eat it and get sick! Let’s work together, to “Free OUR oceans from plastic bags.” It starts with you!

So, what can you do to help?

First, share this very important issue with your family, friends, teachers, classmates and co-workers. Then adopt and practice Fletch’s Four Environmental “R’s” and a “C” each day:

   Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect and Cleanup

  • Reduce the plastic bag waste you produce. Use a cloth bag instead!
  • Reuse a plastic bag instead of throwing it away
  • Recycle your plastic bags and make them into something new
  • Respect the environment, don’t trash it with plastic bags
  • Cleanup the environment where others have trashed it

My sea turtle friends and I thank you for your help in keeping our ocean home “Clean and Blue, Plastic Bag Free!”


Support Sea Turtle Conservation!

Adoption Spotlight – If you have visited Loggerhead Marinelife Center this year, you have probably met Burt Reynolds the sea turtle. Burt Reynolds arrived at LMC in October of 2016 after the turtle was found entangled in 75 pounds of net. Burt Reynolds is a unique patient at LMC as this turtle’s stranding is the fifth ever documented for its species, the olive ridley. We are excited to have the opportunity to outfit Burt Reynolds with a tracker prior to the turtle’s eventual release so that we can follow Burt Reynolds’s adventures! You can visit marinelife.org/adopt to become a proud adopted parent of Burt Reynolds, who you can visit at the center and track after the turtle’s release.



Gift Store – 

In an effort to reduce waste on our campus and go plastic free, we are switching to reusable bags in the gift store. One step at a time we are reducing our use of plastics. By purchasing one of these reusable bags in our gift store (Small bag for $1.25; medium for $1.50; large for $1.75) you will be supporting our efforts to reduce waste on campus and protect our blue planet. Who doesn’t love that?




Angelina (11) and Scarlet (9) of Wellington, Florida started a lemonade stand to raise money for Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The raised $45.51 in one day and plan to continue. We’re thankful for ocean heroes like Angelina and Scarlet. Your passion and support truly does make a difference for our blue planet. 

Thank you to The Honda Classic, from whom Loggerhead received a generous grant of $10,000 in support of our Education Department’s efforts to teach our county’s students how to help protect the ocean that our world’s sea turtles call home.

On Tuesday, June 27 Loggerhead Marinelife Center hosted the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County (MIAPBC) on campus for their “Marine Mingle.” During their event, the MIAPBC very kindly provided a donation to LMC, which will continue their long standing association with the Center. This allows LMC to continue increasing its education and conservation impact here in Juno Beach and around the globe.
Thank you to Trina Turk, who hosted a shop-and-share and fashion show at Bloomingdale’s of The Gardens Mall to raise funds for LMC. 

Special thanks to this month’s beach clean-up sponsor, RBC Wealth Management – West Palm Beach & Palm Beach Gardens,

Kirstin & Telby Turner. We are so grateful for RBC’s continued support of our efforts to keep our beaches clean!



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.

July 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.

Children’s Art Class – Every Saturday express your creativity with a different art theme each week.