August 2017 Newsletter


Jack Lighton

Dear Friends of LMC:

As our community starts to change gears from summertime and our “hatchlings” head back to school, we have a lot of wonderful news to share with you from our Juno Beach, Florida campus.

First, I am proud to share with you that our sea turtle nesting on the 9.5-mile stretch of beach we monitor has once again broken all of our past records, with green sea turtles nesting in extraordinary numbers. While this is good news on many fronts, let’s reflect for a moment on the decades of conservation investment put into place to get us where we are today.

In the 1960s the green sea turtle was nearly extinct in Florida. In 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) took effect and many animals like the green sea turtle found new protection – and new hope. It takes decades for sea turtles to reach adulthood, and we believe what we are seeing can be attributed to the ESA and the many individuals and institutions who invested in the success of sea turtles.

While we have much to celebrate, we want to remember that newer threats are now present, such as increasing marine debris, changing temperatures on our beaches and significant increases in coastal development. We celebrate our record-breaking nesting year; however, with your help we remain committed to staying on the forefront of the changing tides of conservation.

Marinelife Day at the Gardens Mall returns Saturday, Aug. 19, where you can shop and save the sea turtles! LMC will take over the stunningly beautiful (and air-conditioned) Grand Court at the Gardens Mall for a day-long celebration of all things sea turtle. Marinelife Day is a fun FREE interactive day for the entire family. This year, we will showcase local art made by school students, which focuses on the Art and Science of Marine Debris. Additionally, The Gardens Mall and 16 individual retailers will host a day-long shop and share. Anything you shop for – anything – in the entire mall will qualify for a donation to LMC. It’s simple: shop the mall, bring your receipts to the info desk and – voila! – you just made a donation to LMC. Additionally, 16 other retailers will help support sea turtles with individual in-store shop and shares, doubling your impact to LMC. Marinelife Day returns this Saturday, Aug. 19 and we hope you will join us!

Did someone say “Tortuga Time”?! Yes, someone did, and it was our friends at Lilly Pulitzer. We are honored to share that Lilly Pulitzer designed five (5) custom resort wear items with a portion of sales supporting LMC! This item is being sold through Lilly’s global network, both in-store and online, and the local launch party will be at Marinelife Day on Aug. 19. Purchase your Tortuga Time goodies in-store on Aug. 19 and Lilly will make make another donation to LMC. Saving sea turtles never looked so fabulous!

On behalf of our entire team of staff, over 350 active volunteers and our many supporters, I thank you for your interest and passion for our mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation. We hope to see you at Marinelife Day or on campus very soon!

With Gratitude,

Jack E. Lighton

President & CEO




Marinelife Day 2017 – Join us for Marinelife Day at The Gardens Mall this Saturday, Aug. 19! LMC staff members and volunteers will be on hand throughout this free event to speak about the work we do and how you can get involved. Learn about everyday methods to reduce ocean pollution, shop in LMC’s pop-up gift store, enter raffles to win prizes and participate in children’s activities! We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the mall! Several shops will also donate a portion of their proceeds and The Gardens Mall will donate five percent of sales to LMC – please submit your receipts to the information desk in the Grand Court to benefit sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education and conservation.


Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon – The Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon on Oct. 27, Florida’s most prestigious ocean conservation awards ceremony is accepting nominations until Aug. 25. 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. This year’s speaker will be Brian Skerry, a National Geographic photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Find out more information HERE.


Print with Purpose: Tortuga Time

We are overwhelmed with excitement to announce the launch of the new Lilly Pulitzer print “Tortuga Time.” This Print with Purpose is in support of The Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Looking good while doing good is a hallmark of Lilly Pulitzer and this print will support our mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation. We are humbled to be paired with such a philanthropic brand. The Print with Purpose will be available in-stores and online. Be sure to check out Tortuga Time at Marinelife Day, Saturday, Aug 19. Saving sea turtles never looked so good!




Are you An Ocean Ambassador ?

Travel for the Turtles: SWIM with LMC to Padre Ramos, Nicaragua: 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 Padre Ramos, Nicaragua! 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 Nicaragua itinerary HERERead up on our 2017 destinations and detailed itineraries at or contact Hannah at to book your conservation vacation.


High School Student Field Opportunities: Marine Science Academy (Ages 14-17 ): Got a budding scientist on your hands?  We are calling out to all interested high school students who would like to apply for a scholarship to LMC’s Marine Science Academy program. The Marine Science Academy program aims to give aspiring biologists, researchers and environmentally-minded teens experience in the marine science field through various topics and activities throughout the school year. Each participant will be required to attend a monthly meet-up to learn a different skill and knowledge base to assist in developing a project they will complete by year’s end. The program wraps up with over 40 hours of community service and class hours and a graduation ceremony for friends and family. To apply, please visit or email Prestyn at


Netflix’s Chasing Coral FREE Public Screening: On Friday, September 8th, we are teaming up with Deep Obsession charters to offer a free public screening of Netflix’s newest original documentary: Chasing Coral. About the film: Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. About the program: Join LMC and Deep Obsession staff and volunteers to learn about the challenges our reefs are facing and what you can do to help play a big role in ocean conservation for future generations.
Schedule of events:
5:30 p.m.- Doors open to the public at Loggerhead Marinelife Center
5:45 p.m.- Introduction
6:00 p.m.- Screening
7:30 p.m.- Discussion
8:00 p.m.- Program conclusion
Space is limited for this program, so please RSVP your attendance to Hannah at


Homeschool Open House: On September 1, from 10am – 1pm LMC is opening its doors for an exclusive Homeschool Open House program to showcase this year’s Homeschool Workshop offerings. A brief showcase of some of our most popular topics will be available to interested families as well as select activities. For a schedule of the 2017 – 2018 classes, please visit Space is limited, so to RSVP your attendance, please email Prestyn McCord, School Programs Coordinator, at



What’s New in Rehab?

Burt Reynolds is an olive ridley sea turtle that was found floating just offshore in Hobe Sound in October 2016. The turtle was struggling to swim and had 75 pounds of fishing net entangled around its body. After months of rehabilitation, the turtle was released Wednesday, Aug. 16 several miles off the shores of Key West. A satellite transmitter was placed on the turtle before the scheduled release. With the help of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement, we successfully released Burt Reynolds, the fifth olive ridley to strand in Florida and the second to be successfully rehabilitated and released. Meghan, the first olive ridley success story, was also rehabilitated and released by Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s rehab team.

The satellite data we will receive from Burt Reynolds will be immensely important for sea turtle and ocean conservation. Olive ridleys are pelagic animals commonly found around Central and South America. Since this turtle was found in Florida (out of its normal habitat), it will be interesting to see where the turtle will go after release. The tracking will give us a clue as to where the turtle came from and how it ended up in Florida. Burt Reynolds’ story and satellite data will also be utilized in many of our education programs to teach others how humans have a huge impact on marine wildlife and how we can help protect our oceans for future generations.

You can follow Burt Reynold’s location HERE.



Nighttime Survey – Green turtles are now the primary focus of the nighttime research. We have currently tagged 48 green turtles for the metabolomics and fibropapillomatosis maternal transfer studies. We initially thought once the turtles were tagged, we would never see them again since the density on our beaches is so high and we monitor such a large area. That is not the case; we have seen “Michelle Obama” three times and “Long Toes” and “Justine” twice. “Michelle” was observed nesting within 150 feet of her first nest during her third encounter. Additionally, we have spotted some very loyal loggerheads. The nighttime research crew found a loggerhead with a satellite tag that was no longer transmitting. During her first encounter, we were not able to remove the tag as she headed back to the water; however, during her second encounter we removed the tag. She was seen a third time on Aug. 3, causing us to name her “Loyola.” We are still trying to track down the original owner of the tag so that we can return it. Satellite tags, if recovered, can store very valuable data that cannot always be recovered if the tags are lost at sea. Finally, we have sent out some of our leatherback samples collected earlier in the year for processing. Results soon to come!

Morning Survey – This July was a very busy month for our research department. The graph above displays the total number of sea turtle crawls (nests and non-nesting emergences) recorded each month along our 9.5 mile survey area, all species combined. Sea turtles do not always lay a clutch of eggs during an emergence. Our researchers record a GPS location for all nesting activities, so that we can analyze trends in false crawl rates. Sea turtles false crawl due to both natural and non-natural factors. For example, the number of non-nesting emergences may increase if the sand becomes too dry or if people accidentally walk up to a turtle and disturb them during the nesting attempt. Last season, we observed an increase in sea turtle false crawl rates all across the state of Florida due to record hot and dry weather during peak loggerhead nesting season. We are hoping this year does not follow the same trend.

During the month of July, our beaches averaged over 700 new crawls every day! We are very fortunate to work on such a productive and important nesting beach. Loggerhead nesting activity peaks in early to mid July of each season. The green turtle nesting typically peaks in mid-late July and will begin to drop off by mid August. We broke our record of 5,443 green turtle nests recorded in 2015 on Aug. 2. We have now recorded over 5,567 green turtle nests as of Aug. 2.

We have broken our nesting season record! So far this year we have broken our record for green sea turtles and for overall combined nests. Over 17,000 sea turtle nests!



For the month of July, we would like to recognize Randy Dwyer as volunteer of the month.

Randy began volunteering at LMC in May of 2016. As an education docent, he has been trained in guided tours and field trips. Randy leads field trips on Wednesday mornings and leads the public guided tour every Friday afternoon. In addition to his two turtle yard shifts, Randy was a presenter for Turtle Walks and is currently leading our Hatchling Release program two nights a week!

Randy spent over 85 hours volunteering in June and over 86 hours in the month of July. We are very fortunate to have Randy as a volunteer and we are grateful for all of his hard work. Thank you for all that you do, Randy.




 MASCOT CORNER: What did you do this summer?

Hello Friends,

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot. This summer, Fletch had a turtle-y funtastic time making new friends, visiting with old friends, high flipper fives, lower flipper fours, hugs, dancing with friends and pictures with guests. That’s a mouthful. So let’s see what Fletch did this summer:

May 30: Lilly Goes Home – Cheers of joy were in the air and Fletch was on the beach as Lilly the sea turtle went home.  Lilly was named in honor of Lilly Pulitzer, and there were a lot of Lilly’s colors on the beach. The turtle was fitted with a tracking device, so you can follow Lilly’s journey on the Centers “Track Our Turtles” web page.

June 10: World Oceans Day – A lot of hugs, high flipper fives and pictures at the Center. It was a perfect day for a sea turtle mascot named Fletch.

June 16: CANstruction Exhibit at the Gardens Mall – Stopped by the mall for a little shopping spree (not really.) I went to see the Florida Power and Light CANstruction sculpture, inspired by the Loggerhead Marinelife Centers sea turtle rehabilitation work.

June 17: Run 4 the Sea – The Jupiter Hammerheads’ mascot, Hammie the Shark joined Fletch to cheer on the runners and go for the gold. Not really – we just watched the race.

June 20: Palm Beach International Airport – Traveled with the LMC marketing department to see our new digital ad at the airport. Up, up and away! Actually, I prefer to stay on the ground.

June 21:  North County Chamber Breakfast – Saw my old friend Hammie again and made a new friend, Palmer the Panther, from Palm Beach State College. We had a great time interacting with guests and giving out several awards. “Go Chamber!”

June 30: Sea-Fari night at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium – Fletch traveled with the Center’s outreach docents to educate guests on the importance of keeping the Ocean “Clean, Blue and Trash Free.” Fletch also found time for high flipper fives, hugs, dancing with guests and – of course – pictures.

July 15: Gardens Mall Kids Club “Under the Sea” theme – Fletch and Dr. Logger traveled to the Gardens Mall to educate children about sea turtles. To Fletch’s surprise a fish named Dory was also there. Fletch had a great time hanging out with Dory and the kids.

July 18th  Dusty is sliding Home: Dusty the sea turtle, named after Washington Nationals Manager Dusty Baker, slid into home. Yes, fans were standing and cheering as Dusty the sea turtle went back to its ocean home. In honor of Dusty, Fletch was dressed in Nationals red. Go Dusty!

It’s been a very busy summer and summers not over. I still have “Marinelife Day” on August 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Gardens Mall. To all of my friends out there, stop by for a high flipper five or a lower flipper four and say hello to Fletch. I have a very special gift for kids that greet me and say “I love a clean ocean, do you?” See you at Marinelife Day on August 19.






Support Sea Turtle Conservation!

Adoption Spotlight – We are so excited to unveil our updated adoption program! Our sea turtle adoptions have always been a great way to support the Center while giving the perfect gift or taking home a unique keepsake, and now they have received a makeover! We have added new items to the packages throughout the program! Additionally, we have introduced a new level to our program: Nest Adoptions. These special adoption packages are only available during sea turtle nesting season, so make sure you check them out soon! All of our new and updated packages can be found at




Gift Store – It’s back-to-school time, and Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s gift store is excited to offer guests and students (of all ages) those perfect coastal-inspired back-to-school items! Whether you’re looking for a sustainable lunch container, a new sling bag for physical education class or a quick trip to the library or a reusable water bottle, we have it all. Shop back-to-school items here.







Thank you to Sea Helper, a bamboo apparel company that donates a percentage of sales to Loggerhead. You can learn more about Sea Helper at 


Many thanks to Sophia Smith and Caroline Yancey, who sold snacks and beverages in their neighborhood to raise funds for Loggerhead. 


Thank you to Waste Management for their continued support of the Loggerhead Invitational Golf Tournament. 


Special thanks to this month’s beach clean-up sponsor, Jensen-Johnson, LLC. 


Special thanks to the Alternative Break team from Central Michigan University, who took time out of their summer break to help us paint and clean the Juno Beach Pier! We are grateful for your support; come visit us at Loggerhead Marinelife Center again soon!


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.

August Activities 

Manatee Lagoon Tour – 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.