Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) just broke ground on a multimillion-dollar expansion to enhance its mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation. On Wednesday, April 3, more than 300 guests joined board members, donors, and community leaders as they celebrated the milestone at the Juno Beach Center.
LMC has raised $12 million for its Waves of Progress expansion campaign that was launched in 2017. The 27,000-square-foot addition will double the Center’s hospital capacity and research laboratory, and significantly enhance its educational capacity and efforts with interactive experiences that place LMC on the forefront of STEM education. Additional fundraising will continue through construction, and the project is expected to be completed by 2022.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement and grateful to the community for their generosity,” said LMC Board Chair Lynne L. Wells. “To meet the changing needs and challenges of our world’s oceans, we need to continue fundraising to stay ahead of the changing ocean ecosystems, and we must continue to research, learn and educate.”
Jack E. Lighton, President and CEO of the Center, added, “The environmental issues we face today could not have been predicted two years ago when we launched the campaign. Toxic blue-green algae has increased, and just last year, we experienced a red tide outbreak, which is rare on Florida’s east coast. As a facility that depends on clean water, we must act now to secure additional funds for our campaign. The future health of our sea turtle population and Florida’s waters and coastal ecosystems depends on our continued success.”
LMC, founded more than 30 years ago, has become a global leader in sea turtle health and ocean conservation. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, LMC welcomes more than 350,000 guests each year and offers free admission and parking. The Center, which features an on-site hospital, a research laboratory, educational exhibits, and aquariums, is one of the top-visited cultural destinations in Palm Beach County.