November 2018 Newsletter

CEO Chatter with Jack E. Lighton

Jack Lighton

Dear Friend of LMC,

On behalf of our wonderful team of staff and volunteers I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. Here at Loggerhead Marinelife Center we have so much to be thankful for and it is due to the teamwork of our staff, volunteers, and supporters like you that we are able to create a record setting education and conservation impact – here in Florida and around our beautiful blue planet.

We are extremely thankful for all who helped us host a very successful 10th Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon at the end of October. It is our privilege to celebrate our nominees, finalists and award winners, each of these extraordinary individuals and organizations are truly improving the health of our planet.

More about the 10th Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon:
Over 700 guests joined us at the Kravis Center to celebrate conservation and hear an inspirational message from Emmy Award-Winning, TV personality and biologist Jeff Corwin. Our sincere thanks to all of our sponsors in particular our presenting sponsor Manatee Lagoon, an FPL eco discovery center. We would also like to thank United Technologies Corporation for being our Atlantic Ocean Sponsor. Our event sponsors help LMC welcome more guests to the luncheon while keeping the admission prices accessible. Please save the date for our 11th Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon which takes place on Friday ,October 25th at the Kravis Center. Please click here to visit the web page for this years event:

If you were not able to join us at Go Blue, our next upcoming Signature Event Beach Bash Palm Beach, which is presented by Lilly Pulitzer will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29th. Beach Bash Palm Beach allows us to celebrate our sea turtles and local beaches that they call home. We are honored to be welcomed to The Beach Club and want to thank our generous presenting sponsors Lilly Pulitzer corporation who very kindly host this important year-end fundraising event for us. Saving sea turtles never looked so good! For more information about Beach Bash Palm Beach, please click on this link:

One of our most favorite FREE events of the entire year is only a few more days away. After feasting on your Thanksgiving meal, please join us on campus for “BLUE Friday” LMC’s alternative to “Black Friday.” There will be a lot of wonderful activities for the whole family, we will have special educational events, guided tours, the chance to visit with our fun mascot Fletch, and of course the stars of our campus, our wonderful sea turtle patients. Please bring your friends, family and out of town guests to visit with us on Blue Friday, November 23rd.

Please keep your eyes peeled for a couple of wonderful online promotions we have in store for the week after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday is a great time to consider unique holiday gifts. From wonderful items in our store, sea turtle adoptions, and even a special promotion on our custom inscribed brick pavers, we have something truly unique for everyone. We thank you for considering our unique gifts as the income we generate at LMC from shopping allows us to offer free admission to our guests – thank you for helping us remain free.

There are many unique ways to become involved in our mission. On behalf of our entire Team, I want to thank you for being a very important part of our conservation journey – and by the way – our journey is far from over. With good progress comes even more responsibility to increase our impact. As we look to celebrate a successful 2018 I thank you for being such an important part of our Center’s progress.

I look forward to visiting with you on campus soon and wish you a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

With Gratitude, 
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO


Save the Date

Beach Bash Palm Beach
Saturday, Dec. 29 at 8:00 p.m at The Beach Club, Palm Beach
To benefit the Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center – Over 700 philanthropic influencers will descend upon The Beach Club on Palm Beach Island for the must-attend party of the year. Decked in their brightest Lilly Pulitzer fashion, guests will celebrate their Love of Palm Beach, and the 60th Anniversary of Lilly Pulitzer! Saving sea turtles never looked so good!
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tracy Gulick at 561.627.8280 x 103 or

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Beach Bash Palm Beach Shop & Share
Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Lilly Pulitzer and join us for Shop & Share to benefit LMC!
Friday, December 7th
Lilly Pulitzer | Worth Avenue | 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Lilly Pulitzer | The Gardens Mall | 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Discounted Beach Bash tickets are available in-store only during the Shop & Share.


Go BLUE on Black Friday!
Looking for a fun, free, family-friendly alternative to Black Friday? Come celebrate Black Friday the BLUE way and enjoy free programming, crafts and marine conservation education from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, November 23rd, 2018.

Our mascot, Fletch, will be making festive appearances throughout the day and our most popular programs will be offered FREE, including Jr. Vet Lab, Dr. Logger’s interactive children’s show, and tours behind the gates of our outdoor sea turtle hospital.

Families will have the opportunity to give thanks to our ocean by participating in cleanup activities and learn fun ways to respect and give back to the environment. Free sea turtle-approved, responsible gift wrapping is available with each purchase from our Gift Store! This event won’t be one to miss, so mark your calendars for this fun and festive annual event.


We are kicking off the giving season by sharing the story of our sea turtle patient, Sherman! There are many ways to show your support this season and we are thankful for people like you who have embraced our mission and make possible all the good that we do. Sherman is a washback sea turtle that arrived at our hospital with micro-plastic in its system. Sherman is one of many sea turtles that arrive at our hospital with plastic ingestion. Help LMC send more turtles like Sherman back to their ocean home! #GivingTurtleTuesday #GivingTuesday Give back:

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is right around the corner!! Coming up on Nov. 26 we will be offering deal after deal after deal!

  • 20% off all adoption packages!
  • FREE shipping on our online store!
  • 20% off any $150 purchase on our online store!
  • 10% off on our brick pavers! 4X8 discounted to $225 – 8X8 discounted to $405 –

Remember all these deals are ONE day only, so you turtley won’t want to miss them!! Mark your calendars for Nov. 26!

Tenth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon 


The Tenth Annual Go Blue Awards, presented by Manatee Lagoon, recognized individuals and organizations who are leading the community in practicing ocean conservation and are on the leading edge of going “Blue!” Featuring special guest and keynote speaker, Jeff Corwin. The Tenth Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon was held on Friday, October 26, 2018 at the Kravis Center’s, Cohen Pavilion in West Palm Beach.

2018 Award Recipients 
The Eleanor Fletcher Award – Dr. Charles Manire
The Blue Ambassador of the Year Award – Anja Burns
The Blue Friend of the Year Award – Jacquelyn Kingston
The Blue Hatchling Award – Madison Toonder
The Blue Business of the year Award – Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation

Save the date for the 11th Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon – Oct. 25, 2019

What’s New in Rehab?

On October 31st of this year, Providencia, a 216 lb. adult female loggerhead turtle patient was released from Juno Beach with a satellite transmitter attached to her carapace. She had been found in St. Lucie and brought into the hospital on December 26, 2017. Initially, Providencia was emaciated, lethargic and anemic. A radiograph was taken of her when she arrived, and to the hospital teams’ surprise, she had 12 eggs visible. Most likely due to her poor overall health, she was unable to pass these eggs, so they became trapped inside and non-viable.  The hospital team began to administer a regimen of antibiotics, supplements for the anemia, and IV parenteral nutrition. On January 8th, Providencia passed her first egg. Two days later, another two eggs were passed. It was clear that she was slowly recovering.

During her stay in the hospital, ultrasound imaging and routine radiographs were used to keep track of the progress of the remaining eggs. With only three eggs remaining, it appeared that she was not going to easily pass the remaining eggs, so an endoscopy procedure was undertaken to visualize her reproductive tract. Shortly after the endoscopy procedure, the patient passed the remaining eggs, possibly due to the reproductive tract being stimulated by the endoscope.

With Providencia recovered from the anemia, in much better overall health, and having passed all the eggs, she was ready for release. A satellite transmitter was attached to her carapace that will provide data such as her GPS locations, dive behavior and water temperature.  If you would like to follow the progress of any of our satellite tagged turtles, you can view their tracks on our website at


Conservation Corner

Marine Debris Sorting Station
Plastic pollution has increasingly become one of the most significant threats to our ocean’s health. Each year, over 8 million tons of plastic enters our ocean. After every beach and underwater cleanup, the Conservation Department sorts and documents every piece of debris.  Sorting this trash allows us to identify major types and sources of pollution.  We use this information to develop targeted pollution prevention initiatives, outreach and education programs that will reduce the amount of pollution entering the marine environment.

This month, LMC unveiled a new Marine Debris Sorting Station, a gift from Bank of America. This Sorting Station serves as a working exhibit, allowing us  to showcase the methods used to sort debris while giving guests an in-depth look at the plastic problem in our ocean.


October Cleanup Results
Every month, following each Blue Friends Society, underwater, and private beach cleanup, Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Conservation Department sorts and records each piece of debris removed from the beach. In October, eight beach cleanups were evaluated, and 12,923 pieces of trash were removed from the beach. Data shows that over 90% of all debris collected this month was made of plastic.
Strange items found during this month’s cleanups were a domino, a rug, a printer ink cartridge, and half of a five dollar bill.

Research Update

Research Project Spotlight

During the 2018 nesting season, researchers at Loggerhead Marinelife Center collaborated with individuals at the University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University on a project entitled “Effects of in situ incubation temperatures on hatchling loggerhead sea turtle morphology, health indices, and locomotor performance.” During this study, 15 temperature monitors were placed into naturally incubating sea turtles nests laid on Juno Beach during the months of May, June, and July in an effort to determine how incubation temperatures relate to hatchling health. This study was unique in that it examined natural incubation temperatures; the majority of studies similar to this one use artificially incubated nests that are held at constant temperatures. This is not reflective of the natural nest environment.

Upon nest emergence, ten hatchlings were collected at random, weighed, measured, and observed for scute (bony plates on the carapace) abnormalities. Heart rate and righting response in the water (an indicator of fitness) were recorded. Lastly, blood was collected and analyzed for a number of health indices. Mean incubation temperature ranged from 29.8 ± 0.1°C in May nests to 33.2 ± 0.2°C in July. Maximum temperatures for all nests were >34.5°C, above the previously established lethal threshold for developing sea turtle embryos. See the figure below for a temperature profile of a nest laid in July.

Abnormal scutes were documented in six hatchlings in May, nine hatchlings in June, and 27 hatchlings in July. Abnormal scute patterns in sea turtles have been linked to increasing environmental temperatures. As expected, hatchlings from warmer nests had significantly greater body depths, larger umbilicus lengths and widths, shorter carapace lengths and widths, and shorter front flipper lengths. Blood parameters including hemoglobin, packed cell volume, total protein, and a number of white blood cell counts were significantly higher in hatchlings from warmer nests, suggesting altered hemodynamic balance and potential inflammatory responses. Righting time was also significantly longer in turtles from warmer nests.

This was the first study to establish baselines for health indices in hatchling loggerheads with concurrent morphology and locomotor evaluation in relation to natural nest temperatures. The results of this study allow us to better understand the potential effects of increased incubation temperatures on hatchling physiology and development. Alterations in health can lead to increased vulnerability to disease and reduced survival. In addition, higher incubation temperatures resulting in smaller body size and slower righting time could potentially decrease the ability to make it to, and survive in, the open ocean. The results of this study will be presented  at the 2019 International Sea Turtle Symposium in Charleston, SC by Ms. Kelsey Fleming, a Master’s student at the University of South Florida.


Nesting News

The 2018 Sea Turtle Nesting Season officially ended on October 31. Although the sea turtles may be done with nesting, we still have a few marked sea turtle nests remaining on the beach that we will continue to monitor through incubation. This season, our research team recorded 28,390 crawls resulting in 11,951 nests.

This season was not record breaking, however, it was our fifth highest nesting season in recent years. The loggerhead and green turtle nesting numbers continue to rise, which is a promising trend! The leatherbacks are our wild card species, with fluctuating nesting numbers from year to year. The general trend in leatherback nesting along our beaches has been trending downward over the past decade. We are not sure if this is indicative of a larger issue within the population, or if the turtles are simply nesting elsewhere.


Knowledge is Power!

Come SWIM with LMC!
Give the gift of an unforgettable conservation vacation this holiday season and support marine life, too! We are offering a $200 savings on our 2019 Serving the World’s Imperiled Marine life (SWIM) destination eco-tour program, where guests will travel with LMC staff to destinations around the globe to assist in sea turtle conservation efforts.  

Take advantage of this exclusive deal! Price includes round-trip airfare*, accommodation and all activity fees. For more information on destinations, visit
To register yourself or a lucky gift loved one, please contact Hannah at
*connecting flights not included if applicable

Calling All Little Picassos!
Every Thursday, LMC will be hosting a Mommy and Me painting class. Bring your little ones to paint their very own ocean-themed ceramic to paint and take home! While the masterpieces are drying, the artist will learn all about fascinating world of sea turtles through discussion and hands-on artifacts. If your child is into art and sea turtles, this is the perfect class for you!

Geared towards ages 3-5
Cost: $10 per ceramic sibling/friend discount 2 for $18 (must pay together)
Register online at and select desired date


Volunteer Spotlight

For the month of October, we would like to recognize a volunteer who goes above and beyond to educate guests and further the mission of LMC. Mary Pratt has earned the distinction of Volunteer of the Month.

Mary began volunteering as an Education Docent at the beginning of the year. Since then she has blossomed into an invaluable part of our team. Mary is a joy to work alongside as she always comes to her shifts with a positive attitude and is willing to help however she is needed.

Although Mary spends half her time in Northern Michigan, she is always willing to make up for lost time while she is here. Last month alone, she contributed nearly 40 hours!

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to LMC, Mary! We are so lucky to have you on our team.

Mascot Corner: A Turtley Funtastic Gift!

Hello Friends,

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot.  As we enter this holiday season, do you have someone that is hard to buy for?  It could be a husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father, grandparent, girlfriend or boyfriend, even a grandchild.  Fletch has the perfect gift that will bring a smile to the recipient’s face and at the same time help rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles.  You can adopt Fletch as a gift through our sea turtle adoption program. This adoption directly benefits our sea turtle patients, by helping to cover their care and treatment costs.  It’s not cheap taking care of a sick or injured sea turtle. On average the medical costs of rehabilitating a sick turtle is approximately $15,000. So, I look forward to being adopted by hundreds, thousands and maybe millions of adoptive parents that love to help sea turtles.  We can celebrate family birthdays and holidays, maybe even go on a vacation. I would love to be part of your family. My new surname could be Jones, Miller, Lighton, Smith or Green etc., sounds good to me. So, during this season of holiday spirits and gift giving, consider adopting “Fletch” the Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s lovable and huggable mascot, as a gift for that special person in your life.  There are four “Fletch” adoption packages (Basic $35 and three upgrades: Enhanced $50, Premium $75 and Deluxe $100). For adoption packages of $50 dollars and larger, from Nov. 14 – 30, I will also include a picture book story “Fletch Little Adventures” in the adoption package.  The book is about me and my friends (Tierney, Grandpa Joe, Lola the Leatherback and Perry the Pelican) at a very special beach.  Fletch shows Tierney the importance of keeping the beach and ocean clean during a day filled with fun, friendship and surprises.




Adoption Spotlight

For a limited time only ” Fletch Little Adventures” story book will be included in Enhanced, Premium, and Deluxe adoption packages! A fun, adventure filled tale which highlights the importance of ocean conservation is the perfect gift for the upcoming holiday season. This awesome addition will be available November 14 – 30th! Cyber Monday is also around the corner, be sure to take advantage of our Sea Turtle Adoption Sale, 20% off all online adoptions!


Shop Where it counts

Cyber Monday is right around the corner. Start thinking about the perfect gift for your friends and family! We will be offering FREE shipping all day on Cyber Monday. We will also be offering 20% off a $150 purchase!! You won’t want to miss these deals! 

Thank You to Our Outstanding Supporters!

LMC is honored and very proud to partner with Shebop Beach Swimwear to benefit our shared mission of sea turtle conservation and social responsibility. Shebop Beach Swimwear donated $184, proceeds from the sale of Shebop products sold at the LMC gift store.
We are so proud of Morgan Sheehan for starting her own Save the Turtles program. Her love for scuba diving and sea turtles inspired her to bring awareness to other students in her school and in our local community on the importance of conservation. Through her program, students receive one community service hour in exchange for a bag of ten aluminum cans. The aluminum cans collected are then transported to a local recycling center for cash, which is matched by several local small businesses in West Palm Beach. To date, Save the Turtles program has collected over $170 to support the Sea Turtle Hospital at LMC. Thank you so much, Morgan!
Special thanks to Mermaid Spearo for donating $125, proceeds from raffle gift basket sales, to the LMC Red Tide Emergency Research Fund. Support from community partners like Mermaid Spearo enables LMC to increase our impact. 

Thank you to our November Blue Friends Society Beach Cleanup Sponsor:

Betsy Munson 


Have you ever visited Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center? We are 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 share 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.

Upcoming 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 – Held every Saturday. Express your creativity with a different art theme each week.