July 2018 Newsletter



Dear Friend of LMC,

We have over 10,000 reasons to celebrate sea turtle and ocean conservation: 10,533 reasons to be exact!  This past weekend our research team marked the 10,000th sea turtle nest on the 9.5-mile stretch of beach we monitor.  Because of your passionate support of our Center we are able to mark, monitor, and protect more sea turtle nests and create innovative research studies allowing us to better understand our sea turtle population.  Please remember that sea turtle nesting season runs until Oct. 31 so we ask that you help us keep our local beaches clean and dark.

As we head into August, we have a number of exciting programs in store for our guests and community.  Once again on Saturday, Aug. 18 Marinelife Day at The Gardens Mall returns with a very timely theme, reducing our daily reliance on single-use plastics.  Our event theme and hashtag will be #PlasticFreewithLMC which is emblamatic of efforts to rid the world’s oceans and natural spaces of plastic debris.

What is Marinelife Day?  It is a fun, daylong interactive event hosted in the Grand Court of The Gardens Mall.  During this fun, free event children, families, and guests will be able to partake in hands-on activities designed to improve their knowledge of sea turtle and ocean conservation.  In addition to our interactive conservation stations, children can sign up to be a Vet for a Day, adults can participate in our luxury raffle powered by The Gardens Mall’s luxury retailers, and shop shop shop throughout the mall in our ever popular shop and share.

All shopping in the mall on Saturday, Aug. 18 can help to support LMC.  Shoppers can shop in any store or restaurant in the mall, bring their gift receipt to customer service in the Grand Court to log their purchase and the mall will kindly donate 5% of the purchase back to LMC.  In addition to the Mall’s donation to LMC, our shop and share retail partners which include but are not limited to Alex and Ani, Brooks Brothers, California Pizza Kitchen, J. McLaughlin, Jimmy Choo, Kendra Scott, Lilly Pulitzer, Michael Kors and Tory Burch will be hosting individual shop and share opportunities.  So we say, “Shop and Save the Sea Turtles” all day long at Marinelife Day!

Marinelife Day will also host the awards reception for the Fourth Annual Juno Beach Pier Photo Contest.  This contest is open to professional and novice photographers who use the June Beach Pier as the backdrop or focal point of a photo.  Photos can be submitted until Aug. 10.  We are honored to welcome the following judges who have the difficult job of reviewing and awarding winners: Michael Brown, Local photographer; Eric Call, Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation; Lori Griffith, Local photographer; Mayor Jason Haselkorn, Town of Juno Beach; Greg Lovett, Palm Beach Post; Nancy Politsch, Lighthouse ArtCenter and Scott Simmons, Florida Weekly.

As we continue to experience a high volume of sea turtles nesting on our beach, it is critical that you help us keep our beaches cleaner and darker. Please join us for our next upcoming beach clean up on Aug. 18 at 8:30 a.m. We thank our conservation team for sorting all of the debris we collect.  We don’t just pick up marine debris; we sort and analyze this data and ultimately publish our monthly Sort Report, sponsored by Bank Of America, which helps us to better understand the key drivers of ocean trash.

Thank you for your passionate support of our mission.  We look forward to visiting with you at Marinelife Day at The Gardens Mall or on campus soon.

With Gratitude,
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO

Marinelife Day – #PLasticFreewithlmc

To promote sea turtle education and conservation, Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) will partner with The Gardens Mall on Saturday, August 18 for its Sixth Annual Marinelife Day 2018. This free, interactive exhibit will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Grand Court of The Gardens Mall.

Marinelife Day will feature LMC’s research and conservation efforts and feature many activities for visitors and families, including interactive children’s labs and photo opportunities with Fletch, LMC’s mascot. Visitors can also enter a raffle for a chance to win sustainable prizes, such as reusable water bottles and lunch supplies.

Marinelife Day’s theme for 2018 is #PlasticFreewithLMC – we will be showcasing the dangers of single-use plastics and the direct impact it has had on our sea turtle patients. When you attend Marinelife Day 2018 you will find out the ways you can make a difference!

LMC will also announce the winners of the Fourth Annual Juno Beach Pier photo contest. We are calling photographers of all ages and experiences to submit their best photo of the Juno Beach Pier for the Photo Contest. Submissions are now open and run until Friday, August 10. Contestants may submit one high-resolution photo (iPhone photos are accepted) via email to Cassidy Sparks, LMC marketing & social media coordinator, at csparks@marinelife.org to be entered in the contest.

Learn more: marinelife.org/marinelife-day








Chili’s Give Back – July 30 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Let Chili’s do the cooking while supporting Loggerhead Marinelife Center! Chili’s will donate 20% of the event day sales! Only at the Jupiter location, 65 US 1 North.








Surf Taco Give Back Day – Aug. 1 from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Come out to Surf Taco in Juno Beach, Florida for LMC’s Give Back Day! Surf Taco will be donating 25% of the proceeds to LMC when you show this flyer on your phone when you order! What’s better than eating tacos and supporting sea turtle and ocean conservation?! Please show this flyer at checkout! Located in the Bluff’s shoppes, 4050 S US 1.








3rd Annual Lionfish Awareness Festival is BACK – Aug. 5 from 12 – 4 p.m.
Live music, lionfish tastings, drinks sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Co, scoring, filleting and dissection demonstrations, games and other activities including a bounce house from Jupiter Bounce will take place between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Raffle tickets will be sold for a number of prizes. Raffle and Award Ceremony will take place around 2:30 p.m.

Get the full experience at the Palm Beach County Lionfish Awareness Festival with a VIP Access Pass>> You will be able to sample gourmet lionfish cuisine, vote on the best dish, receive two complimentary drinks and get a behind-the-scenes tour of Loggerhead Marinelife Center outdoor sea turtle hospital. Tours will only be offered to VIP ticket holders and can be signed up for upon check-in. First tour will begin at 12:30 p.m. and run through 3:30 p.m.

CALLING ALL CHEFS: LIONFISH CULINARY COMPETITION – A people’s choice culinary competition will be held in conjuction with the Palm Beach Derby event from 12-2 p.m. Participating chefs will be given the opportunity to showcase their lionfish creations and win up to $750 in cash prizes. Cash prizes up to $6,500 will be awarded to the participating derby teams who bring in the most, largest, and smallest lionfish. There is an additional category this year for most lionfish caught in a First Timers group (first REEF derby for all team members). We also have a new Golden Fish Award; a $1,000 cash prize raffle for which all participating teams are eligible. All participants in each derby will also earn an entry into the drawing for a Atlantis Dive Resorts & Liveaboards certificate for a 7-night dive vacation at either Atlantis Puerto Galera or Atlantis Dumaguete for one (1) person valued at $2,600. With all these chances to win, you don’t want to miss out!
Registration: $120/team and 2-4 people/team
For more information and to REGISTER A TEAM for the derby, to REGISTER FOR THE CULINARY COMPETITION or to PURCHASE A VIP TICKET go to: www.reef.org/derbies/palmbeachcountyderby



Paint-N-Drink – Aug. 18 at 5 p.m.

Join Paint N’ Drink for an after hours event at Loggerhead Marinelife Center; $25 covers all of the supplies necessary and instruction for you to create a memorable piece of artwork!

Our paint class will have a special focus on Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s research program! Did you know LMC’s research program is one of the longest-running sea turtle monitoring programs in the state of Florida? From March through October, LMC’s research department documents all sea turtle activities along 9.5 miles of beach from northern Palm Beach County line south to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. You will learn all about the research LMC is doing on local beaches and LMC’s mission to promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles!

​Singles​, couples & groups welcome!  Please feel free to bring adult beverages, but we ask that all drinks be in reusable containers. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Reservations via www.paintndrink.com are required as space is limited. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to Loggerhead Marinelife Center.




what’s new in Rehab?

People often ask us how we find our sea turtle patients. We answer them by saying we are most often contacted by people walking the beaches, on their boats, or while they are out fishing.
On Thursday, July 13 we were contacted by a gentleman, Bill Smayack (long-time supporter of LMC) that was fishing early in the morning at Blowing Rocks Beach. He had been walking the beach and found some turtle tracks that lead to a drop off and not a slope to the water. That is when he spotted a large female loggerhead that was wedged sideways between some rocks below a large cliff.  Bill said, ” I knew I couldn’t get her out alone and knew you were the folks to call.” Bill had taken the shirt off his back to cover the turtle from the rising, hot sun. Once the rehabilitation team from Loggerhead Marinelife Center arrived, the team of staff and volunteers carefully pulled the 200+ pound turtle from the crevice and walked her to a safe release location. Once the turtle was flat on the sand with the ocean in front of her, she took off like a rocket straight back to where she belonged. Our successful sea turtle rescues could not be done without the help of our amazing volunteers and concerned citizens. To learn more about the rescues or our individual patients, check out our patient pages on our website.


Conservation Corner

First 2018 Underwater Pier Cleanup
In partnership with Jupiter Dive Center, Loggerhead Marinelife Center conducted the first Juno Beach Pier underwater cleanup of 2018.

In just 50 minutes, 8 divers removed over 80 MILES of fishing line from under the pier. Each mile of line recovered eliminates the chance of entangling sea turtles and other marine life, likely resulting in flipper amputation, strangulation, or death.

Special thanks to Jupiter Dive Center for donating their boat, time, and staff to this cleanup!


June Beach Cleanup Results
Every month, following each Blue Friends Society and private beach cleanup event, Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Conservation Department sorts and records each piece of debris removed from the beach.

In June, six beach cleanups were evaluated, with 7,077 pieces of debris removed from Florida’s beaches. Data shows that 85% of the trash collected this month was plastic.

The strangest items found were; an Apple Watch, 13 non-matching shoes, and a lawn flamingo.

Nesting NEws

PC: Dr. Franciscus Scheelings, Monash University, Australia – Images were acquired while conducting authorized research activities pursuant to FWC MTP-18-205.

MORNING SURVEY – We currently have a total of 10,533 nests! Our beaches are among the most densely nested sea turtle nesting beaches in the world. The 2018 season has kept our research department busy with 154 leatherbacks, 415 greens and 9,964 loggerheads. This year, we recorded more leatherback nests along our survey area than in 2017 (97 nests). We will likely not record many more leatherbacks, as they typically begin to migrate northward by the middle of July. Loggerhead nesting season is approaching its peak, and we are currently recording 100-200 new loggerhead nests each night! We are just hitting the peak of nesting season and our nest counts to date lead us to believe that this will be an average to high-average nesting season. We are recording about 5-10 new green turtle nests each night. This year was expected to be a low nesting season for greens, as they tend to nest in alternating high to low seasons. By comparison, this same time last year we had recorded over 2,500 green turtle nests as of early July.

Overall, this season is shaping up to a high nesting season overall. If loggerheads continue nesting at their current pace, we will likely to record over 10,000 loggerhead nests – which is great news for our local population!

Images were acquired while conducting authorized research activities pursuant to FWC MTP-18-205.

NIGHT TIME SURVEY – The night crew thought they were done with leatherbacks. Apparently not. They encountered Electra on July 10. This turtle had not been seen since they end of April. Based on the timing of her first nest and this most recent encounter, she has likely laid 8–9 nests this season.

We have tagged over 100 nesting loggerheads this season to date, with over a month a half to go with our current projects. In August, we will switch over to sampling some of the nesting green turtles.








Knowledge is power!

Hatchling Programs are BACK – Sign-up now! 
Spaces on our sea turtle hatchling programs are still available to experience a day in the life of a sea turtle researcher and rehabilitation technician.

Biologist Beach Walk
Rise and shine for an early beach walk with an LMC staff biologist to learn about the nesting and hatching of our favorite sea turtles! Watch as the contents of a sea turtle nest is exposed, documented and later analyzed – and perhaps get to see a few hatchlings to watch crawl to sea for the first time. Guests will learn about the efforts of our research team as they get the opportunity to observe a nest excavation to collect valuable data about the success of each nest. Register>>>
Dates: Aug. 1 – Sept. 10, 2018
Time: 7-9 a.m.
Cost: $12/person

Hatchling Release
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 as hatchlings crawl to the sea under the dark sky for the first time. Register>>>
Dates: Aug. 1-31, 2018
Time: 8-10 p.m.Cost: $18/person

NEW EXPERIENCE: Hatchling Feedings
Join us in one of our Hatchling Feeding programs where guests are able to prepare the food for our hatchlings and assist the rehabilitation team with data collection of the hatchlings in our care. The program starts with a presentation about sea turtles and the hatchling journey, followed by preparation of hatchling food before feeding time. You will have the opportunity to observe the hatchlings feeding and foraging behavior and record data on who is eating and how much. Register>>>
Dates: Sundays between Aug.5 – Sept. 9
Time: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $15/person






Public Evening Guided Tour
Join LMC for an after hours, behind-the-gate tour of our facility. Enjoy light snacks and beverages while you join one of our talented guides on campus. You will get the opportunity to go behind-the-gates of our outdoor sea turtle hospital to get up close and personal with our sea turtle patients. The guide will discuss sea turtle behavior, morphology, habitats, and conservation as well as answer any questions you might have. The Public Evening Guided Tours are from 6 p.m. -7 p.m. and are limited to 15 people maximum. Adults are $15 and children under 8 are $12. For more information or to pre-register, visit our programs calendar here
Dates: Every Tuesday – Saturday in August
Times: 6 – 7 p.m.
Cost: 15/person, 12/child





New opportunity for college students interested in conservation education

The LMC education department is currently seeking a public programs intern for the 2018 summer season

The education department is currently accepting college-level interns to assist with the development, implementation and facilitation of current and future public programming offered at LMC. The internship is an unpaid position and housing is not provided. Students interested in this program will be working under the programs coordinator and assisting in various projects, including, but not limited to:

  • Facilitating currently offered public programs as needed
  • Training and supervision of LMC volunteers to lead regularly scheduled public programs
  • Brainstorming and assisting in the design of new, innovative and mission-centric programming
  • Assisting with the tracking and maintaining budget for on campus programming
  • Monitoring and communicating inventory needs for more than 20 various programs
  • Collecting and coordinating the repurposing of recycled material donations for various crafts and campus events
  • Maintaining relationships with LMC volunteers and LMC staff members involved with programming
  • Facilitating payment for all regularly scheduled paid public programs
  • Daily tasks including creating education materials and content for monthly eNewsletter, monthly programs calendar and program social media content.
  • Completion of an intern project to be determined within the first week of hire. Education staff will assist with the program scope, direction and reach. The project objectives include the following:
    • Learn how to successfully design and structure one complete educational program
    • Write age-appropriate program curricula and create Standard Operating Procedure and supplemental training materials
    • Implement program on campus at LMC.  Interns will carry out their final program and facilitate the program to LMC staff members at the end of their internship.

   Other duties as assigned


  • Comfortable speaking with the general public, including various age ranges and ethnic backgrounds
  • Detail oriented and organized
  • Self-motivated and willing to learn
  • Desire to implement spread awareness of marine science education through interactive and enthusiastic programming, both free and fee-based
  • Willing to work outdoors in Florida’s heat, rain, and wind as needed

All interns must be currently enrolled university students (full or part-time) pursuing a degree in a related discipline (i.e. marine science, biology, environmental science, education). All interns must also possess a valid driver’s license and be able to pass a criminal background check and drug test.

Terms offered: Spring, summer, winter; start and end dates variable based on departmental needs.

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter with three references to education@marinelife.org. Re: Public Programs Internship


Become a Florida Master Naturalist with the University of Florida (UF/IFAS) at Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Join Loggerhead Marinelife Center staff along with biologists and naturalists from Habitat Specialists, Inc. and Ecological Associates, Inc. in the Fall 2018 Coastal Module course of UF/IFAS Florida Master Naturalist Program.

During this immersive, 40 contact-hour course, participants will learn various topics of marine science through hands on activities and field trips to ecologically important coastal areas in Palm Beach County. Some of the highlights of the program include:

  • Field trip activities including citizen science field sampling techniques
  • Sea turtle hatchling activities including beach release and next excavation with LMC biologists
  • Guest speakers from Ecological Associates, Inc., the Nature Conservancy and Department of Geosciences at Florida Atlantic University

Upon completion of the course, participants will receive their Florida Master Naturalist Program certificate, pin and an extensive electronic textbook of concepts in coastal ecology and conservation.

Program begins late August through mid September. For full schedule and program dates, or to register, please visit the program description page here>>

 VOLUNTEER Spotlight

The Volunteer Department would like to recognize Lyssa Wintz as June’s volunteer of the month.

Lyssa has been volunteering at Loggerhead Marinelife Center since December 2011. Over the course of that time, she has donated 1,383 hours. Lyssa is a rock star on the Thursday afternoon shift in sea turtle rehabilitation. She is a leader on her shift and does a terrific job training new volunteers in the rehab department.

Lyssa participates in our evening beach programs during the summer months. She scouts in our Turtle Walk program and presents for Hatchling Releases. Lyssa also volunteers at TurtleFest every year alongside her husband, Rick.

Thanks for all that you do, Lyssa!


Hello Friends,  

Fletch here, the loveable and huggable  mascot for the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.  I want to take a moment to thank my shark friend, Hamilton R. Head for attending Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Run 4 The Sea, on June 16. Hamilton is the mascot for the Jupiter Hammerhead baseball team, a farm club of the Miami Marlins. If you like baseball, attend one of the Hammerhead games and say “Hello” to Hamilton for me. It’s a great family fun activity. Who knew a shark and a turtle could be friends?

The morning of the race was perfect: a beautiful sunrise, great weather, a field of runners for the 4K run and the one mile kids fun run, with food and plenty of boxed water and a “Kids Zone” with games and activities.

Standing at the 4K start line, at 7 a.m., we had runners on our right and left and 800 runners behind us.  When the starter said GO, Hamilton and Fletch smoked the competition in the shark and turtle division. We came in first in our respective division. Not really, we just watched the race and cheered on a sea of runners.

Next, was the kids fun run at 8:15 a.m. as Hamilton and Fletch lined up for the one mile fun-run, we waited again for the starter to start the run. Then the countdown started 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!  Hamilton took off in a flash, trying to keep up with the kids. Fletch on the other hand was SLOW, very SLOW as kids of all ages passed me by, even a mother pushing a stroller passed me.  Pretty soon all I could see were the kids running down the street and Hamilton walking back towards me. Whoever said a turtle and a shark can run fast. We may be SLOW, but we had fun cheering for the kids.  To the kids that ran in the fun run, you are all champions. Hamilton and I were very honored, to give the runners their participation medal, at the end of the run. A morning of high fives, low fives and selfies.  Looking forward to seeing you all at the “2019 Run 4 The Sea.”

Adoption Spotlight

Straws are one of the top ten items removed from beaches world wide. Plastic items like this often become hazardous for sea turtles and other marine life. For a limited time only, each adoption will include a pack of summer themed paper straws to remind you to avoid single-use plastics or to take the challenge and go completely straw free with LMC! marinelife.org/adopt



Shop where it counts

Sweet summertime! Ready to hit the beach and want to make sure you are protected from the sun? Did you know some sunscreens can be harmful to our coral reefs? When buying sunscreen, be sure to look for products without benzophenones (BPs) or oxybenzone – ingredients linked to coral bleaching. Stream2Sea is safe for you and our oceans! Shop now: shop-marinelife.org




Special thanks to this month’s Blue Friends Society Beach Cleanup sponsor, RBC Wealth Management – Telby & Kirstin Turner. RBC has been involved with our beach cleanups for several years and we are so grateful for their continued support of our efforts to keep our beaches clean.



Ocean heroes Karah Pericchi (10), Christian Rogers (7), Kathryn Rogers (10), and Varun Singh (10) came by our gift store to adopt six sea turtles and donate $210 they raised from their lemonade stand. Thank you for helping to support our sea turtle patients’ hospital care and rehabilitation!


Thank you to Payton Welke and Bree Cox for inspiring us with their passion to protect the ocean that our sea turtles call home. Payton and Bree donated over $30 to LMC, proceeds from the sales of their lemonade stand. We look forward to your next visit! 



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.

July 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.