January 2019 Newsletter

CEO Chatter with Jack E. Lighton

Jack Lighton

Dear Friend of LMC,

We hope your 2019 is off to a great start. On behalf of our entire team of staff, volunteers, and supporters I want to thank you for helping us achieve another record setting year of conservation and education impact. 2018 was a very important year in the conservation conversation. April's Earth Day focused on plastic in our ocean. June's National Geographic magazine "Planet or Plastic" opened the eyes of many, and the focus on single use plastic drinking straws sparked a global conversation causing massive global corporations like Disney and Marriott to take action to better protect our planet. Your support enabled LMC to be a focal point locally and internationally for these important conversations and we thank you for being a positive force in helping us to showcase our important mission.

Helping to increase the conservation of the world's oceans: Marine Debris Sorting and Analysis
We thank the tremendous amount of community participants who were a part of our 2018 beach and Juno Beach Pier clean up programs. Your support allowed us to collect a record amount of debris and with the support of our conservation team, we sorted, weighed, and recycled what we could and created actionable Sort Reports which allow our scientists and our collaborators to better identify the leading types of debris which allows us to work 'up stream' to try and reduce these items from impacting our coastlines and marine life. We want to take this opportunity to thank our conservation partner, Bank of America for funding our game changing sorting station and marine debris exhibit, this important station helped us more efficiently conduct our analysis and served as a helpful educational tool for our students and our guests.

A Night at the Museum - Sea Turtle Sleepover!
Can you imagine spending the night at Loggerhead Marinelife Center? Our new Sea Turtle Sleepover is an exclusive nighttime program that offers a tour of our outdoor sea turtle hospital, activities for your aspiring scientist, movie time, snacks and pizza, and concludes with a little shuteye amongst our aquariums! Our first Sea Turtle Sleepover is coming up on Jan. 26! Learn more: marinelife.org/sleepover

Be our Valentine! Join us on Valentines Day for a special private tour of our sea turtle hospital:
Chocolates, teddy bears, flowers… looking for something different to arrange for Valentine’s Day this year? Loggerhead Marinelife Center is offering admission for a special Evening Guided Tour on Feb. 13, 14 and 15. All are welcome to enjoy holiday-themed treats, light bites and bubbles as an experienced guide leads guests through our Center. 

Looking for a special gift for your Valentine?
If you are looking for a very meaningful and impactful gift for your Valentine, please consider our unique sea turtle adoption package or shopping in our beautiful gift store. Sea Turtle Adoptions and shopping in LMC's store (in person or online) are great ways to help support our important mission. Our gifts are inspired by our mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation and education so shop for your Valentine and help to save the sea turtles!

Save The Date: TurtleFest 2019: Oceans of Opportunity - Saturday March 23rd:
Please join us for TurtleFest 2019 where we will celebrate Oceans of Opportunity! This fun FREE event has something for the entire family. From the awesome live music on the TurtleFest main stage to the excellent educational opportunities for all of our guests TurtleFest will be sure to provide a full day of enjoyment for all of our guests. Parking is free and shuttle buses provide around the clock transportation. Back by popular demand: Interactive conservation and education stations, our merchants village with great shopping and unique gifts, excellent craft food and drinks, and festival games including our super popular sky slide and rock climbing walls

If you are interested in being a sponsor of our event please contact Tracy Gulick at tgulick@marinelife.org.

We hope to see you at TurtleFest where together we can create Oceans of Opportunity across our beautiful blue planet! For more information please visit: marinelife.org/turtlefest

On behalf of our staff, our volunteers, and our Board of Directors, I thank you for your support - thank you for helping us increase our impact. We look forward to visiting with you on campus soon.

With Gratitude,
Jack E. Lighton

Beach Bash Palm Beach Recap


Over 600 philanthropic influencers attended the social highlight of the season: Beach Bash Palm Beach, presented by Lilly Pulitzer, on Saturday, Dec. 29 at The Beach Club on Palm Beach. The fete, now in its 13th year, is Lilly Pulitzer’s largest annual charity event, and it raised critical funds for The Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. READ MORE>>

TurtleFest 2019: Oceans of Opportunity - Saturday March 23rd

Mark your calendars for TurtleFest 2019, coming March 23 to Juno Beach!! At the free-admission event guests will enjoy live music, food and drinks, art, shopping, educational activities and more! You won't want to miss it! *If interested in being a volunteer or vendor please visit marinelife.org/turtlefest



What's New in Rehab?

The hospital at LMC is not only a renowned medical facility for injured sea turtles, but also a teaching hospital. Many interns, veterinary externs and visiting veterinarians from around the world have spent time with us to further their knowledge on wildlife medicine for sea turtles. Several of our college interns have gone on to pursue careers as veterinarians and veterinary technicians after their time spent with our hospital team.  

Currently we have a veterinary extern who, before getting her Masters of science and veterinary degree, had been an intern at the hospital in 2012. Brittany Bible, a Florida native, spent one month interning with us during the summer. While here, she completed an intern project focusing on flipper amputations and worked closely with the veterinary team observing surgeries, treatments and diagnostics. Shortly after her internship, Brittany completed her Masters Thesis on dolphin immunology with Florida Atlantic University. From there, she began working at several small animal veterinary clinics before beginning her veterinary medicine schooling at Lincoln Memorial University.  After graduation, Brittany hopes to continue working within wildlife medicine.

The hospital also currently has an intern working and learning with us.  Whitney Smith is a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut where she majored in Animal Science and minored in Marine Biology. Whitney will be spending three months with us as she learns hands-on about sea turtle husbandry and medicine. She will be presenting to the LMC community at the end of her internship about our cold-stunned patients. After her internship, Whitney plans on continuing working in the veterinary field. If you or someone you know is interested in interning within the hospital, please take a look at our application at marinelife.org/careers



Conservation Corner

Responsible Pier Initiative 2013-2018
Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Responsible Pier Initiative (RPI) was developed as a collaborative program to work directly with recreational anglers on fishing piers. The purpose of these efforts is to provide first responders on piers with the necessary training and resources to respond effectively to sea turtle injuries or stranding on or around fishing piers. Since 2013, The Responsible Pier Initiative is responsible for the successful rescue of over 547 sea turtles and the removal of over 18,000 lbs. of marine debris.


2018 Cleanup Results
Every month, following each Blue Friends Society, underwater, and private beach cleanup, Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Conservation Department sorts and records the each piece of
debris removed from the beach.

In 2018, 95 beach cleanups were evaluated, with 161,358 pieces of debris removed from Florida beaches. Data shows that over 87% of debris collected in 2018 was made of plastic.

The strangest items found last year were an Apple Watch, a lawn flamingo, a lottery ticket, and a toilet seat.


Research Update

Sea turtle nesting season is right around the corner, and the Research Laboratory Staff is working hard
to prepare for the upcoming season. We are predicting record-breaking nest counts, as 2019 will likely
be a high green turtle year. Additionally, remigrant loggerhead turtles from 2016 (a year where we
recorded over 15,000 nests!) will likely be back to nest. We are excited to see what’s in store.

Currently, we are putting the finishing touches on our posters and oral presentations for the upcoming
International Sea Turtle Symposium in February in Charleston, South Carolina. Sarah Hirsch will present her work on the impacts of a geotextile dune core (i.e., geocore) on sea turtle nesting activity. Through her work, she found that sand grain size and moisture content were significant predictors of hatching and emergence success in the geocore area. This has numerous implications for beach renourishment and armoring. Adrienne McCracken’s “Clash of the Turtles” research is revealing that during high green turtle years (2013, 2015, 2017), loggerhead turtles are false crawling more and utilizing less of the available nesting habitat. Finally, Dr. Perrault will be discussing his research on the effects of blood sample quality on healthy analytes in leatherback sea turtles. He was also invited to present at the Environmental Contaminants in Sea Turtles Workshop that is taking place before the Symposium begins. That presentation will provide a review of the current state of toxicologic research on sea turtle nesting beaches around the world.

Three manuscripts have come out recently from the Research Laboratory. These were
multi-collaborative studies (LMC-affiliated authors are bolded):

Foley AM, Stacy BA, Schueller P, Flewelling LJ, Schroeder B, Minch K, Fauquier DA, Foote JA,
Manire CA, Atwood KE, Granholm AA, Landsberg JH. 2019. Assessing Karenia brevis red tide as a
mortality factor of sea turtles in Florida, USA. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 132: 109–124.

Moncada F, Coppenrath CM, Hirsch S, Nodarse G, Page-Karjian A, Reeves AM, Perrault JR.
2019. Nesting green turtle tagged in Cuba, recaptured in Florida. Marine Turtle Newsletter 156: 1–2.

Perrault JR, Coppenrath CM. 2019. Albinism in Florida green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings:
ratio-based evidence of basic Mendelian recessiveness. Marine Turtle Newsletter 156: in press.

Knowledge is Power!

Come join Loggerhead Marinelife Center at The Satellite in City Place for our exhibit hosted by The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County!

The Satellite is a pop-up gallery and event space produced by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County where they host local artist and organizations. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center exhibit will be at The Satellite from Saturday, January 12th - Sunday February 2nd. Guests can come and learn about threats to our ocean ecosystem and everyday solutions through this engaging, interactive exhibit.

The Satellite in City Place is open from Thursday 12 pm - 6 pm, Friday 11 am - 7 pm, Saturday 11 am - 7 pm, and Sunday 11 am - 6 pm.



Join us for a sleepover with the sea turtles! Our Sea Turtle Sleepover is an exclusive nighttime program that offers tour of our Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, activities for your aspiring scientist, movie time, snacks and pizza, and concludes with a little shuteye amongst our aquariums! The Sea Turtle Sleepover is for children ages 8 years – 12 years. The cost is $45/child and $10/adult chaperone, which includes pizza and snacks. For more information on our Sea Turtle Sleepover program or to book an unforgettable sea turtle experience at Loggerhead Marinelife center, please visit marinelife.org/sleepover

January 26 from 7:00pm – 8:00am

Sleepover participants will have an action packed evening including:

  • Bioluminescence Lab in our Outdoor Learning Lab
  • Tour to meet LMC’s sea turtle patients and scavenger hunt
  • Pizza, snacks, and a light breakfast
  • Ocean-themed movie before

Cost: The cost is $45/child and $10/chaperone

Sea Turtle Sleepovers are limited to 10 children per sleepover and is for children ages 8 – 12 years old. Chaperones are optional. If a chaperone chooses to attend, attendance is required for the duration of the program. You are welcome to bring your own snacks and beverages but request that all beverages be in reusable containers.

Interested in an exclusive “I Survived the Sea Turtle Sleepover at Loggerhead Marinelife Center” t-shirt? We will be offering t-shirts to those registered for $15/shirt.

For questions, please contact Sue Thompson at sthompson@marinelife.org


Evening Guided Tour Valentine’s Day Edition

Love is in the Sea!

Chocolates, teddy bears, flowers… looking for something different to arrange for Valentine’s Day this year? Loggerhead Marinelife Center is offering admission for a special Evening Guided Tour on Feb. 13, 14 and 15. All are welcome to enjoy holiday-themed treats, light bites and bubbles as an experienced guide leads guests through our Exhibit Hall, behind the gates of our sea turtle rehabilitation area to meet our current sea turtle patients, and into our Sea Turtle Hospital for an exclusive peek at where the action happens. This Valentine’s Day edition tour includes a special Valentine’s Day Adoption per person! Singles, couples, friends, and families are welcome to join us.

February 13, 14, 15  2019


To register: marinelife.org/calendar


Volunteer Spotlight

For the month of December, we would like to recognize a volunteer who goes above and beyond to contribute to LMC’s Guest Services department. Maria McDonald has earned the distinction of Volunteer of the Month.

Maria began volunteering in June 2017 and has since logged more than 210 hours. She is always a friendly face and is happy to answer the wide range of questions that guests ask at the front desk.

In addition to helping in Guest Services, Maria has also contributed to special events like Marinelife Day. No matter what capacity she is volunteering in, we can always count on Maria to provide excellent customer service to our guests!

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


Mascot Corner

Hello Friends,

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot.  Did you know that January 13, 2019 was National Rubber Ducky Day? Do you or did you ever have a Rubber Ducky? The Rubber Ducky has a long and respected history in the world of children, as part of our collection of bath-time toys. No one really knows where they came from, or cares, but we all wanted one! Rubber Ducky Day is here to help us remember and appreciate our childhood!

Brick Paver

Purchase a brick paver, to be placed in the walkway of our new outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital during our campus expansion.The bricks can be engraved with a brief message (and turtle logo).
8X4 - $250 - Limit 60 characters including spaces, 36 if including a logo
8X8 - $450 - Limit 120 characters including spaces, 80 if including a logo

Adoption Spotlight

Valentine's Day is around the corner! Purchase your loved one a sea turtle adoption.

Receive a special Valentine's Day card with every package!
"Of all the creatures in the sea... you're the only one for me!"

Shop Where it Counts

Shop for your loved one this Valentine's Day in our gift store! We have unique gifts that you cannot find anywhere else! shop-marinelife.org

Thank You to Our Outstanding Supporters!

Special thanks to Atlantic Karma for donating a portion of apparel sales to LMC. We are so grateful for this support and honored that we can help each other make a difference in ocean conservation. 
Thank you to Juno Beach Mobil station for their continued support. The Mobil station donates a portion of the proceeds from gas purchased on Tuesdays to LMC to support our mission. 
Thank you so much to Eva & Bella from Maine for donating $35 from their fundraiser to benefit LMC. One rainy day in late November, Eva & Bella went around their neighborhood selling ornaments and asking people to help save the sea turtles. They have also adopted our current sea turtle patient, Marge, and are planning to come up with a new fundraiser for this summer. Thank you Eva & Bella for your hard work and passion! We wish you can visit us here in Juno Beach soon!

Thank you to our Blue Friends Society January Beach Clean-Up Sponsor:

Weger/MacKay Group at Morgan Stanley
Sally Ann Weger, Financial Advisor, Vice President
Donna J. MacKay,  Financial  Advisor, CFP, CFA


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.