February 2018 Newsletter


Dear Friend of LMC:
As the short month of February draws to a close, it’s time for us to showcase sea turtle nesting season, which officially kicks off in Palm Beach County this Thursday, March 1! The 9.5-mile stretch of beach that our Center has monitored for over 40 years is one of the most densely nested sea turtle nesting beaches on our planet. Last year, this stretch welcomed over 19,000 sea turtle nests. In fact, our research laboratory can collect more sea turtle nesting data on the 9.5-mile stretch in one season than many other laboratories can collect in several decades – which gives our Ph.D. scientists the unique ability to better monitor the health of our local sea turtle population. With the arrival of sea turtle nesting season, we ask all our friends to share this helpful fact sheet about how we can work together to safely and responsibly protect nesting female sea turtles and hatchlings.

Three of the most critical elements to remember and share with friends are:

1. Lights out: Please keep our local beaches dark. If you live or stay at a beachside resort, dim or shade your lights so they do not shine on the beach at night. Manmade lights discourage nesting females from coming ashore and artificial light disorients sea turtle hatchlings, drawing them away from the water rather than allowing the natural light of the moon or glow off the ocean to draw them to safety of the ocean. Did you know that you cannot use any form of lighting such as flashlights or cellphones on our beaches at night during nesting season? Lights on the beach at night are not permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC.)

2. Clean beaches save lives: Please help us keep our local beaches extra clean during sea turtle nesting season. Beach trash can harm a nesting female when she visits our beaches to nest. Beach debris can also ensnare sea turtle hatchlings emerging from their nests, reducing their ability to make it to the safely to the ocean.

3.) Let LMC guide you on the beaches at night: If you want to learn more about sea turtle nesting, please consider signing up for LMC’s Turtle Walks. These walks are permitted by FWC and allow us to take small groups of guests down to the beach at night with permitted scouts to safely witness the humbling and exciting nesting process.

For helpful tips about sea turtle nesting season, click HERE>>

Quite a few exciting upcoming events are coming up at LMC, and we hope you will join us!

Monthly Blue Friends Cocktail Social – Celebrate the kick off of sea turtle nesting season with our conservation partners and Blue Friends Society members at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Please join us at the Resort’s gorgeous oceanside venue Breeze Ocean Kitchen, where we will sip and snack the night away in celebration of ocean conservation. And did you know that Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa is sponsoring our sea turtle patient Eau-tis?! We are honored to partner with Eau Palm Beach to showcase the many reasons people should visit our beautiful community. A special announcement about the 10th Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon will also take place at this fun beachside event! You can RSVP at bluefriends@marinelife.org. Guests are welcome to join us for a nominal fee.

TurtleFest 2018: Mark your calendars for one of LMC’s most adored community events, TurtleFest: Together We Can! TurtleFest is a FREE family-friendly event and features excellent live music on our Tire Kingdom main stage, fun conservation-themed activities for kids, games for the whole family, wonderful local shopping, excellent food and of course lots of educational time with our staff and volunteers in our sea turtle hospital. We hope you can join us on Saturday, March 24 for this wonderful celebration.

As we look forward to summertime, please keep LMC in mind for your child’s summer camp experience. We have already opened up early registration for our Junior Marine Biologist Summer Camp. If you sign up now, you will receive a nice discount on one of our community’s most popular and unique educational offerings.

On behalf of our entire team of staff, volunteers and supporters, thank you for your continued support of our mission. With your help, we are increasing our conservation and education impact!

With Gratitude,

Jack E. Lighton

President & CEO


TurtleFest 2018

Loggerhead Marinelife Center will host its 15th Annual TurtleFest on Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Over 10,000 guests will join together at TurtleFest 2018 at the free-admission event, which focuses on promoting conservation through up close interactions with threatened and endangered sea turtles, as well as music, local art, shopping, educational presentations, games and other activities. Visit marinelife.org/turtlefest for more information!

The sounds of TurtleFest 2018 include The Helmsmen, Del Pelson and The Bryce Allyn Band.

Interested in volunteering for TurtleFest 2018?
Please fill out the online application Here >>
(Printable version here >>)

Interested in being a marketplace vendor or environmental- and marine-themed artists in exhibiting?
Download application here >>
Questions? Please email Cassidy: csparks@marinelife.org.

Interested in being a sponsor at TurtleFest 2018?
Download opportunities form here >>
Questions? Please email Veronica: vclinton@marinelife.org.

Interested in covering TurtleFest 2018 as a media member?
Please email Hannah: hdeadman@marinelife.org


















Knowledge is power!

Last call for early bird registration: JMB Summer Camp discounts end Feb. 28 – take advantage of our early bird rate for our summer camp registration going on now! Save up to $30 per camper each week by registering before Feb. 28.

Want a glimpse into what our summer camps will be like? We are offering a full day camp session during spring break this year! Register your campers ages 6 – 10 for our Conservation Kids camp March 19 – 23. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. campers will engage in fun, conservation-based activities and host a sea turtle symposium at the end of the week for parents and guardians to show off what they have learned!

To register for our camp sessions or to learn more, visit marinelife.org/camp. Scholarships available for qualifying children ages 6 – 17. More details on website.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s summer camp programs are interactive, educational and stimulating. Each camp is geared towards children ages 6* through 17. Students participating in the Junior Marine Biologist Summer Camp program will gain an understanding of various nature-related topics such as (but not limited to) ecology and marine biology, with an emphasis on conservation. Camp hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Late pick-up (5 p.m.) is available for an additional fee.

This summer, choose from four hands-on, feet-wet camp sessions throughout the summer including Ocean Adventures, Sea Turtle Savers, Conservation Kids and Field Experiences sessions.

Ocean Adventures – Explore Florida’s coastal ecosystems and all the marine animals that live there! Campers will journey from mangroves to coral reefs as they explore different habitats for the incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Campers will learn about the importance and complexity of coastal habitats, learn to take samples and use observation to collect data, enjoy snorkeling excursions and more. Ocean Adventures encompasses sea turtles and their marine environment as well as behind-the-scenes access to our sea turtle hospital.

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, learn how to conduct a sea turtle nesting survey 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 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 other related sciences. Campers will spend their days making observations about the local environments and experience them first hand. Activities will include snorkeling excursions, habitat transects, seining for fish, lab experiments, dissections, sea turtle nesting surveys and more. *Additional fees apply.

Counselor-in-Training Program with JMB Camp – We are currently seeking young adults ages 15 and up to assist our counselors for the 2016 summer camp season. Counselor-in-Training (CITs) will have an opportunity to learn what it takes to be a leader in environmental education and an expert in having fun! CITs will also be able to earn service hours needed for honor roll programs and other school-related activities. These CIT positions fill up quickly! Application for the CIT position may be found at marinelife.org/camp. Applications due no later than Monday, May 7. Participant MUST be available on Monday, May 21, 2018 and commit to a minimum of three 35+ hour weeks.



Conservation Education Focus: Working Vacation in Maui County Islands, Hawai’i

“One of the coolest things about SWIM is that everyone you meet on the trip has that passion for conservation,” says Susan Graham, former Maui SWIM participant. “I definitely would recommend going on a SWIM trip. I mean, what better excuse do you have to travel other than saving the world?”

In partnership with Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, Loggerhead Marinelife Center staff is welcoming guests to travel with our staff biologists to assist with sea turtle rehabilitation, stranding response and other marine conservation efforts on the island.

SWIM guests will assist in conservation efforts on both Maui and Lanai, conducting activities including sea turtle stranding support calls, in-water sea turtle transect surveys, debris audits and under water clean-ups.

“This is a unique opportunity that you cannot find anywhere else on the island; a true, authentic local experience and an unmasked look into sea turtle conservation efforts on Maui,” says Hannah Campbell, LMC’s environmental programs manager.

In their free time, guests will relax in rustic, Hawaiian style at a private cabin site on one of the prettiest shallow coral reefs on the island’s west side. With all gear included in your registration cost, it is a ocean lover’s dream. Make your next vacation a conservation vacation and SWIM with us this year!

2018 dates:

The Honu of Maui, Hawai’i: June 24 – 30
Hawksbills of the Pacific, Nicaragua: August 12 – 18

For more information about SWIM programs, visit marinelife.org/SWIM.




Eco-Adventure Series: Kid’s Fish ID & Snorkel Excursion – Do your kids love to snorkel and have an interest in the ocean? On Sunday, March 4 from 8-10 a.m., aspiring junior underwater naturalists will have the opportunity to snorkel with LMC staff biologists to discover native fish species of South Florida and a lesson on ocean health and conservation. Kids will experience a brief Fish 101 lesson, identification course, snorkeling safety orientation and a guided snorkel on a protected nearby shallow reef to put their new ID skills to the test! To register, please visit marinelife.org/eco. Cost: $25/child (including kid’s mask and snorkel.) Recommended for ages 8-12. Child must know how to swim and snorkel experience is preferred. If child owns personal gear, it is recommended to bring a personal mask and snorkel. Fins not included. Rash guard or other sun-safe shirt strongly suggested.






An Exclusive Look: Evening hospital tours now available – For the first time, we are opening up our sea turtle hospital doors exclusively to our Evening Guided Tour program participants to learn about the inner workings of our sea turtle rehabilitation efforts. With a knowledgeable, experienced guide, guests will tour our Exhibit Hall for a brief lesson on sea turtle species of South Florida before going behind-the-gates of our outdoor hospital area to meet our patients and how they can help reduce their impact on these threatened and endangered species. An LMC staff member will then invite guests inside the hospital to see first hand where the action happens. To register, visit www.marinelife.org/calendar and select your desired dates. Public Evening Tours take place every Tuesday at 5:15-6:30 p.m. Private dates and times available based on availability. Contact Sue Thompson at sthompson@marinelife.org for more details.




Conservation Corner

In the first two cleanups of the year, 10,561 individual pieces of trash were removed from the beach, over 80 percent of which was plastic. Some strange items collected included tags from 1997-1998, shotgun shells and golf tees. Join our next cleanup on March 17 at 8:30 a.m.





Justin Perrault, associate director of research, presented at the Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Meeting this past week in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He presented on research he conducted this summer entitled “Inorganic and Endocrine Disrupting Contaminants in Leatherback Sea Turtles: Implications for Health and Hatchling Quality.”

what’s new in Rehab?

What has the rehabilitation staff been up to the last month? The Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center has the most number of sea turtle patients under care since the opening of our current campus. This excludes washbacks and an acute cold-stun event in 2010, when there were more than 60 patients on campus for one week. The current patient load consists of 15 juvenile and subadult green sea turtles, nine sub-adult and adult loggerheads, one adult female hawksbill and two hawksbill post-hatchlings. Tiffany is our adult hawksbill that was found last December with signs of chronic debilitation. Tiffany had been improving, and can be seen on our web cam. We have one adult female loggerhead, Providencia, that has been passing non-viable eggs in the tank. She has three remaining eggs from what we can see on radiographs. Gavin is a young male loggerhead that is receiving parenteral nutrition as part of the treatment protocol for chronic debilitation. We have other patients with shark bite injuries, boat strike injuries, turtles that were hooked by fisherman or have ingested fishing line, as well as other unknown injuries or illnesses. We hare happy to say Moana and Crunch were released on Wednesday, Feb. 21. To see all of our patients, check out our web page marinelife.org/patients











For the month of January, we recognize Alexandra Melligon as Volunteer of the Month. Alexandra, or Alex M., has been volunteering at Loggerhead Marinelife Center for nearly three years now. She is a fabulous education docent that leads guided tours, both public and private, and leads our free Turtle Talk program on Sunday mornings. Alex was passionate about volunteering with the conservation team. She now donates her time as a docent on Sundays and a conservation volunteer on Fridays. She is an invaluable member of the team and enjoys the hands-on experience. She instructs new volunteers about debris sorting and the importance of data entry. In addition to all the above, Alex is a certified yoga instructor and leads our Deep Blue Yoga program following the Blue Friends Society’s monthly beach cleanup. She is a true rockstar. Thanks for all that you do, Alex. Namaste!

MASCOT CORNER: What Season Starts March 1st?

Hello Friends, 

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable mascot for the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.  Do you know what season it is in Palm Beach County, Florida from March 1 through Oct. 31?  It’s “sea turtle nesting season” and our area beaches are a very productive nesting habitat for leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles.

Last year (2017), the Center’s research team documented 19,085 sea turtle nests on the 9.5 miles of beach LMC monitors. This was a record year for sea turtle nests on our beach. So, what can you do this nesting season to ensure that area beaches remain “sea turtle friendly” for nesting females and hatchlings?

YOU can:

  • Be mindful of beachfront lighting (lights out), since 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, cell phones 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 our area beaches “sea turtle friendly.”

Remember, sea turtles “dig the dark!”



Support Sea Turtle Conservation!

Adoption Spotlight – Part of the fun of adopting a sea turtle patient at LMC is being able to track the turtle’s progress as it is rehabilitated at the Center. It is even more exciting when we are able to track the turtle after its release! We are extremely grateful that Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa is generously supporting the rehabilitation of Eau-tis, a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, as well as donating the funds necessary to outfit Eau-tis with a satellite tracker upon release – allowing us to see where the turtle goes after leaving LMC. You can adopt Eau-tis at marinelife.org/adopt to become a part of this fascinating journey! 


Gift Store – If you’re heading to the beach after visiting LMC, come by and see our selection of beach towels, swim suits, sunscreen, beach bags, hats, sunglasses and more! Every essential you need for your beach day can be found at LMC. Every purchase directly supports our import work in sea turtle and ocean conservation. Thank you!


Loggerhead Marinelife Center in the News

Every month, Loggerhead Marinelife Center receives coverage through dozens of news articles and segments about the Center’s groundbreaking rehabilitation and research efforts, unique educational programs, global conservation initiatives, signature events and more. In 2017, LMC’s media coverage grew over 116 percent, with over 1.47 billion impressions in just one year.

In January 2018, LMC had over 24.4 million known earned (unpaid) media impressions. Read on for some of last month’s press highlights, and don’t forget to share these news stories in your own social media circles. After all, who doesn’t love a good news story?

Flying & Travel: Feature of Loggerhead Marinelife Center – Last July, a travel writer from the online outlet Flying & Travel visited the Center for a tour, with the intention to write an article on LMC for the outlet. Although we were not expecting this writer to visit, we gave him an exclusive behind-the-scenes media tour and sent him home with a media kit for more information. In January, the article was published on Flying & Travel, which has a readership of about 20,000 unique monthly visitors. Much like all of the national, travel-based coverage we receive, this earned coverage serves as a magnificent “third-party endorsement” that showcases LMC as a world-class destination in the Palm Beaches. Read the story here >>

Times Union: Feature of Loggerhead Marinelife Center – Loggerhead Marinelife Center was recently featured in print and online in the Times Union, a newspaper located in Albany, New York. This article highlights visiting the Palm Beaches, including LMC. The Times Union receives 2.2 million unique monthly visitors to its site and a print circulation of 91,000 print. At the time of the article’s publication, Albany was only 24 degrees Fahrenheit – a great time to think about visiting Florida! As usual with travel articles, this earned coverage showcases LMC as a wonderful destination during a visit to the Palm Beaches. Read the story here >>

Multiple Publications: 2018 Cold Stunning – In January, hundreds of cold-stunned sea turtles affected by the cold snap last month were rescued and brought to multiple facilities throughout Florida. Loggerhead Marinelife Center was prepared to take in any cold-stunned patients as well. While none ended up coming to LMC, our hospital staff worked hard to make sure our current patients were kept warm enough during the cold weather. Florida Weekly (print and online), WPEC and WPBF covered our efforts, which you can read and watch. Total earned impressions for this coverage measured at 1.15 million.

If you are a member of the media interested in covering the Center’s conservation work, please email Hannah Deadman, LMC’s public relations & communications coordinator, at hdeadman@marinelife.org.



We are thrilled to welcome Kendra Scott to Palm Beach County! Last month, LMC partnered with Kendra Scott in The Gardens Mall for their grand opening and spring collection launch event. Twenty percent of proceeds from this event were donated back to LMC and matched by The Gardens Mall, resulting in over $3,000 for the Center. Kendra Scott has generously supported LMC’s fundraising efforts since their opening, providing items for silent auctions and raffles and hosting the Kendra Scott Buried Treasure jewelry pull at Beach Bash Palm Beach!

The Blue Friends Society had a lovely time at the January Social at Tommy Bahama in Harbourside Place! Members enjoyed delicious appetizers, raffles and Mai-Turtle (Mai Tai) cocktails specifically crafted for LMC. Tommy Bahama is a gracious supporter of the Blue Friends Society and we are grateful for their longstanding support.

Special thanks to our Blue Friends Society February beach clean-up sponsor, Floridian Community Bank.


Thank you to Skylar Paletta, who has been raising funds for LMC by selling sea turtle t-shirts. Her passion for helping sea turtles started when she was just a little girl who frequently visited our Center. To date, Skylar has raised over $3,800 for LMC.


Thank you to our wonderful volunteer and kid’s fishing program founder Steve Schwartz for talking about the Kid’s Fishing Program on Dr. Ken Grey’s podcast! We appreciate your support. LISTEN>>



It is Manatee Season! 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.

LMC is grateful to partner with Manatee Lagoon, which features a multifunctional educational center, a manatee webcam, two levels of observation areas and so much more. We are 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. Pre-registration is required for events.

January 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.

Manatee Tales Story Time – Listen as a Manatee Master storyteller reads colorful books about aquatic species that live in Lake Worth Lagoon. Children ages 2 to 5 are welcome.

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.