May 2019 Newsletter

CEO Chatter with Jack E. Lighton

Jack Lighton

Dear Friends of LMC,
Raise your flippers if you are ready for a summertime packed with sun and fun! Hello from The Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center where our campus is a buzz with summertime activities.  

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Update: We are racing towards peak sea turtle nesting season here in Palm Beach County, Florida which will take place in June and July.  Keep in mind that the 9.5 mile stretch of beach that LMC’s Sea Turtle Research Laboratory monitors is one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches so nesting activity is already very high and to date we have encountered higher than normal nesting counts on our beach.  We need your help more than ever before to keep our beaches cleaner and darker to help protect nesting sea turtle ‘moms’ and provide a cleaner and safer pathway for our beloved little sea turtle hatchlings.  Read below to see what our nesting season total is so far!

Rules of the Beach During Sea Turtle Nesting Season: Sea turtles are protected animals by the State of Florida and the United States Government, it is critical that if you go to the beaches at night you understand the proper behaviors so you don’t scare nesting female sea turtles causing a disruption to the nesting process.  We have put together a great web page with guidance on how to properly visit the beach during nesting season so you don’t cause harm, visit the website here:

How To Support Sea Turtle Nesting Season: Would you like to attend a private sea turtle nesting walk with LMC scouts to safely and legally observe the sea turtle nesting process?  Space is very limited as these programs are capacity controlled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  If you are interested in signing up to attend our educational and fun sea turtle nesting walk program, please visit:

If you are looking for a way to support LMC’s mission and looking for a great unique gift for graduates, birthdays, or that special someone, please consider a sea turtle nest adoption.  These unique gifts allow people to be involved in helping to mark, monitor, and protect a specific sea turtle nest.  You will receive updates on the nest, its hatch-out, and all sorts of fun facts and figures about your nest!  For more information on these unique gifts, please visit:

Curious about the sea turtle hatchling process?  Please consider joining us for our Hatchling Release Program. Registration opens on June 1!

Celebrating World’s Ocean Month & Run 4 The Sea with Downtown at The Gardens:
As we move towards the month of June we have a lot to celebrate.  June is the month when we celebrate World’s Ocean Day which takes place on Saturday, June 8.  This year, in partnership with Downtown at The Gardens, LMC will be celebrating World’s Ocean Month with our community partners by rolling out a month-long series of fun and educational activities at which will include our 8th Annual Run For The Sea presented by Downtown At The Gardens which will take place on Saturday, June 15.  

We can’t wait to welcome you to Downtown At The Gardens-Join us for the following activation: LMC’s World’s Ocean Day Celebration on Saturday, June 8 – Sunday, June 9.
Blue Friends Social at Avocado Grille (Members-only Event)
Turtle Tuesday Jr. Sea Turtle Rescue Class
All month long proceeds from the DTATG events will go to LMC’s 8th Annual Run 4 The Sea presented by DTATG Saturday June 15th

Waves of Progress Expansion Update – Expanding our Hospital and Rehabilitation Team: Since moving into our current facility in 2017, LMC has worked with our staff, volunteers, and supporters to deliver unprecedented impact in sea turtle conservation and education here in Florida and increasingly across our beautiful blue planet.  Our groundbreaking occurred on April 3rd and we are excited to work with the community to secure funds to continue increasing our conservation and education impact.  

Our expansion will allow us to double our patient and rehabilitation capacity, treat complex health issues, and deploy a state of the art hospital-within-our-hospital, our new Andrea Waitt Carlton ICU Sea Turtle Hospital.  As we get ready to increase our patient capacity we are excited to welcome Kara Hibbs as our Rehab Technician to The Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead! 

Together we can build LMC’s next exciting chapter, won’t you please join us?  From custom inscribed bricks to the next generations of indoor and outdoor classrooms we have many opportunities for you or your business to help us expand our impact.  For more information about partnering with us on our Waves of Progress Capital Expansion, please visit or call Lynne L. Wells, LMC’s Board Chair and Capital Campaign Director at

We are extraordinary thankful for your kind support and passion for our mission.  We look forward to visiting with you on campus or during our month-long series of events at Downtown At The Gardens very soon.

With Gratitude,
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO

8th Annual Run 4 The Sea – June 15, 2019
Presented by Downtown at the Gardens

Enjoy running along scenic A1A at the 8th Annual Run 4 The Sea and support Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation! This timed four-mile race begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, and is open to runners and walkers.

Race participants are invited to stay and enjoy the post-race celebration with breakfast, vendors, kids’ activities, a D.J. and the awards announcement. Awards are presented to the top overall male and female, master male and female and top three male and female in 13 age groups. Runner Gift Bags and Finisher medals are given to ALL participants.
Cost – $45 (includes a sport style participant t-shirt and custom finisher medal)

1-Mile Kids Fun Run: will immediately follow the four-mile race at 8:15 a.m. Parents can cheer their child on from the finish line or run with their child at no additional registration fee.
Cost: $20 (includes a child’s t-shirt and medal)

Virtual Run: Can’t make it to Run 4 the Sea 2019? You can still support LMC and earn a race medal and t-shirt by participating as a virtual runner – plus, you’re given the flexibility to run anywhere at any time you desire. There are no age limits or restrictions on how you clock your virtual four mile run! You do not have to submit your time, but please feel free to share a photo on LMC’s Facebook event page. Medals and t-shirts will be mailed in July to all virtual run participants.
Cost – $40; (includes a sport style participant t-shirt and custom finisher medal).

Join us for a night of ocean and sea turtle conservation fun benefiting Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Tickets are $9 with a portion going back to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. There will also be a game-worn jersey auction with special Turtle Wars-themed jerseys!

Daytona Tortugas VS. Jupiter Hammerheads Loggerheads (for the night!)
5:30 p.m. Game Start
Roger Dean Stadium

We can’t wait to welcome you to Downtown At The Gardens-Join us for a month long celebration:
June 7, 6 -9 p.m. – Kid’s Night out
June 8 – June 9 – LMC’s World’s Ocean Day Celebration
June 14 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Run 4 The Sea packet pick-up
June 20 – Blue friends Social at Avocado Grille (Members only Event):
Every Tuesday at 11 a.m. – Turtle Tuesday Jr. Sea Turtle Rescue Class
Every Wednesday – Paint a turtle day *special paint a manatee day the 12th

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is calling photographers of all ages and experiences to submit their best photo of the Juno Beach Pier for the Center’s Fifth Annual Juno Beach Pier Photo Contest. Submissions open Wednesday, May 8 and run until Friday, May 31. Winners will be announced on June 8 at the World Oceans Day celebration at Downtown at the Gardens.Submit one high-resolution photos to Cassidy Sparks at

The Cooper Celebration

The Cooper is celebrating its fifth year in business starting Tuesday, May 21. To pay tribute, the restaurant will be presenting its Give Me 5! specials for 10 days to thank loyal customers. 

The Give Me $5! specials include select appetizers and glasses of wine for $5 during happy hour, $5 kids’ menu items, and a new signature cocktail, “Vitamin Sea” ($13), of which $5 of every purchase of this drink benefits Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC). 

What: The Cooper’s 5-Year Anniversary 
Where: 4610 PGA Boulevard #100, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
When: Tuesday, May 21 through Friday, May 31 

More: There will also be two $25 pig roasts with live music on May 21 and May 31, respectively, to kick off and end the anniversary celebrations. For every $50 a customer spends from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., they will receive a $5 off card for their next visit to The Cooper, and $5 will be donated to LMC. This includes orders from the regular menu. 

What’s New in Rehab?

The rehab department welcomed a new team member this past month! Kara Hibbs, a certified veterinary technician, has been a welcome addition to the rehab staff. Kara comes to us from New Jersey, where she worked in a general practice with companion animals. Kara also volunteered with the
Sea Turtle Recovery organization while living and working in NJ because of her passion for Sea Turtles. Before living in NJ, Kara completed an internship at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and as she puts it, that’s where she fell in love with sea turtles. In her short time here, Kara has proven to be a valuable team member and has been easily keeping up with the busy schedule of the hospital. Already, she has assisted with parenteral nutrition administration, blood transfusions, multiple surgeries, and several turtle rescues and strandings. Kara looks forward to building her skills and growing within the field of sea turtle medicine. Welcome Kara!

Conservation Corner

In honor of Earth Day, Loggerhead Marinelife Center partnered with 55 restaurants to refrain from offering plastic straws to their patrons and/or use non-plastic alternatives on April 22, 2019. The #StrawFreewithLMC campaign included restaurants adjacent to the 9.5 miles of sea turtle nesting beach patrolled by LMC. The goal of this campaign is to increase awareness so that this can include more restaurants in the future. Since LMC launched the first 
#StrawFreeWithLMC Earth Day campaign in 2018, many of our restaurant partners have taken steps to eliminate plastic straws, and/or have adopted a “straws upon request” policy year-round.

Restaurants that Participated include:

1000 NORTH, Another Broken Egg, Baldino’s Restaurant, Bravo Cucina, Italiana, BurgerFi, Café Sole, Calaveras Cantina, Café des Artistes, Carve Surf & Coffee, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chowder Heads, The Corner Café & Brewery, County Line Pizza, Dive Bar Restaurant, Duke’s Lazy Loggerhead Café, Fresh Nation, Little Moir’s Food Shack, Garden City Café, Golden Pavilion Restaurant, Guanabanas, Hog Snappers, Hurricane Café, Jersey Mike’s (PGA), Jersey Mike’s (West Palm Beach), Jetty’s Waterfront Café, Jonathan’s Landing Golf Club, Johnny Swirls, Judy’s Highway Café, Jupiter Beach Resort, Jupiter Hills Golf Club, Juno Beach Café, Krave Restaurant, Lighthouse Diner, Lou’s Bar & Grill, McCarthy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Oceana Coffee, PapiChulo Tacos, Papa Kwans Coffee Shop, Phat Panda Street Food, Rancho Chico, Rock Steady Juice Joint, Schooners, Subculture Coffee, Surf Taco, Tequesta Brewing Co., The Cooper Restaurant, The Crafty Crust, The Juno Beach Fish House, The Woods Jupiter, Time to Eat Diner, Tommy Bahama, Too Bizaare, U-Tiki Beach, Vulcano’s Italian Restaurant

Every month, following each Blue Friend’s 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 April 2019, 5 beach cleanups were evaluated, with 4,842 pieces of debris removed from Florida beaches. Data shows that over 88.6% of debris collected in April was made of plastic.

The strangest items found were a bike tire, a lightbulb, and a CD.

Research Update

Meet our Research Department Interns
Research Department Interns work directly with our staff and field technicians to conduct daily nesting surveys and the night tagging program. These internships typically extend for 2-3 months and are an excellent way for current undergraduates or very recent graduates to gain invaluable field experience while working on one of the busiest sea turtle beaches in the world!

Meet our Seasonal Field Technicians
These recent graduates and post-graduate students will be assisting LMC biologists with our morning survey and night time tagging projects. The seasonal technicians and interns will be collecting data out on our beaches throughout the summer, so make sure to say hello if you see them on our beaches conducting surveys.

Knowledge is Power!

Hatchling Release and Sunrise Nest Excavation
Registration begins June 1st at 10am!

The Hatchling Release program at Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a unique experience that allows our visitors to learn about sea turtles and the nesting and hatching process. The program begins with an after-hours experience to view our current patients in our outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, followed by a presentation and ends with a trip to the beach to see LMC staff release sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean.

Cost: $18/nonmembers; $16/members
Ages: 8+
Time: Daily in August at 8 p.m.

The Sunrise Nest Excavation program is a unique opportunity for Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) educators to give the public insight into LMC’s research department. With permission from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a permitted staff member will lead guests down onto Juno or Tequesta beaches to discuss the nesting and hatching processes of sea turtles. After an introduction to these processes, guests may have the opportunity to witness a live excavation and create their own data sheets to take home as a memento.

Cost: $18/nonmembers; $16/members
Ages: 8+
Time: August – September, Wednesdays – Sundays at 7 a.m

Zero Waste Week Initiative and Challenge

Thirty-four classrooms from 19 different schools in Palm Beach County pledged to reduce their waste for one week. 30 VPK-5th grade classrooms, 3 middle schools and 1 high school participated. Sixteen of the 19 schools were of Title 1 status and all schools spanned the school district from as far north as Jupiter to as far south as Delray Beach. The pledges were awesome! They ranged from giving up straws and single-use plastics to participating in cafeteria recycling initiatives.

The winner of our Zero Waste Week poster contest is Ms. Dawn Harrison’s second grade class at North Grade Elementary in Lake Worth for their “Save a Cup Save a Sea Turtle” poster. For their achievement, they have been sent a classroom sea turtle adoption. Congratulations to these turtle-y awesome students!

Adoption Spotlight

With Father’s Day right around the corner be sure to give your dad the gift of ocean conservation!  Adopt a sea turtle during the month of June and receive a Father’s Day card and LMC Koozie with your package! While your Dad is probably your biggest hero, he can now be a sea turtle hero too!

Don’t forget our Adopt-a Nest program is back! For the Months of March- October you can adopt a Loggerhead, Green and Leatherback nest. When nesting season ends, adoptees will be emailed an update on their nest! Our researchers have already recorded 1,210 nests this year, be sure to support and adopt a nest today!

Volunteer Spotlight

This month we would like to recognize an exceptional volunteer who has dedicated nearly 400 hours of her time to our mission over the past two years. Pam Brasch is our Volunteer of the Month.

Pam is our go-to for Field Trips, Guided Tours, Special Events, and more. She often leads multiple programs in a single shift and fills in regularly when we need additional help.

Pam is deserving of the title “Volunteer of the Month” because she always comes to her shift ready to help out in whatever way she can.

Pam is a joy to work with and we are so lucky to have her on our team. Thank you for your dedication to sea turtle and ocean conservation!

Mascot Corner: Trash Free Oceans and Beaches!

Hello Friends,

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot.  Have you ever taken a walk on the beach at sunrise? Blue water, waves are crashing on the shoreline, a clear blue sky and a bright red sun reflecting off the ocean.  It’s a beautiful day until you hear a crunching sound. You look down and see a plastic water bottle under your left foot. Then your eyes scan the beach and the sea weed is littered with plastic bags and bottles, cans, balloons and other trash.  The beautiful sunrise has turned into a beach of trash, washed ashore from my ocean home or left on the beach by humans.

I need your help on this very important issue, “Trash in our oceans and on our beaches.”  Native Americans have a saying about Mother Earth: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Humans have the power of choice to be either the problem or the solution, to this very important issue.  We can only hope YOU make the choice to keep our oceans and our beaches: “Clean and Blue, Trash Free.”

You can start, by taking the “Marinelife Guardian Pledge” and live its principles as part of your daily life style:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect, and Cleanup!

Reduce the amount of waste you produce
Reuse something instead of throwing it away
Recycle something old and make it into something new
Respect our oceans and beaches, don’t trash them, and
Cleanup our oceans and beaches where others have trashed them

To take the pledge: Click here “Marinelife Guardian Pledge,” print it, sign it and live it.  Then share it with family, friends, co-workers, teachers and classmates.  Protecting the oceans and beaches is OUR responsibility.  We borrowed the oceans and beaches from our children. Let’s give them back “Clean and Blue, Trash Free!

Brick Pavers

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 logo8X8 – $450 – Limit 120 characters including spaces, 80 if including a logo

Shop Where is Counts

Summer is here! Be sure to grab your coral reef safe sunscreen! Certain ingredients in sunscreens are toxic to corals and reef fishes. Studies have shown that sunscreens worn by swimmers, divers, snorkelers, fishermen and general “aquaholics” contributed to the decline of coral reefs. Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen washes off into our coral reefs every year and accelerates the process of coral reefs bleaching, as well being toxic to certain reef fish species. Common sunscreen ingredients, such as Benzophenone-3, also know as Oxybenzone, can bleach coral and damage coral reefs. 
Cylcopentasiloxane/Cyclomethicone are silicone-based ingredients, used in skin and hair care products, have also been shown to be toxic and to bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms. 
Florida Cruiser/Snowbird is oxybenzone free get yours today and be summer ready!

Thank You To Our Outstanding Supporters!

Thank you to The Arc of Palm Beach County Artisans for donating this amazing mosaic and visiting our Center!
A huge thank you to UTC for LEEDing The Way on Earth Day! UTC held a 5K for their employees to participate in on Earth Day and donate the proceeds back to LMC!
Thank you to all the wonderful sponsors of our 26th Annual Loggerhead Invitational Golf Tournament held at Seminole Golf Club: AT&T; United Bank; The Waterford; Southern Oak Insurance Company; Matthew & Denise Kuntz; Waste Management; G4S Secure Solutions; Pelican Club; Angry Moon Cigars; Tommy Bahama; Tito’s Vodka; and Starbucks. 
Thank you to the beautiful Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa for hosting our Blue Friends Society Cocktail Social! Our Blue Friends Society had such an amazing time at the Breeze Ocean Kitchen where guests enjoyed the stunning ocean views while tasting delicious bites and drinks.
Thank you to Susan Meyers, one of our Blue Friends Society Members that gives a portion of each of her Real Estate sales to LMC. She gives a portion of each closed sale to LMC and the same amount to her clients charity of choice.

Thank you to our Blue Friends Society May Beach Cleanup sponsor: