October 2019 Newsletter

CEO Chatter with Jack E. Lighton

Jack Lighton

Dear Friend of LMC, 

It’s my pleasure to welcome you to our special Go Blue Awards Luncheon edition of our monthly eNewsletter! 

In 2009, our annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon was co-founded by Lynne and Pete Wells and recognizes those who contribute to a “blue” lifestyle of ocean conservation. Inspired by Dr. Sylvia Earle’s quote “No water, no life. No blue, no green,”  Lynne Wells decided to create an awards ceremony to recognize individuals and organizations creating positive change for our oceans. As a long time community volunteer and now current Board Chair, Lynne felt compelled to showcase the achievements of trailblazers like LMC’s founder Eleanor Fletcher, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Robert Ballard, Jacques Cousteau, Dr. Guy Harvey and more. Over the years, our awards ceremony has highlighted the achievements of local and global change-makers who have followed in the footsteps of our founder Eleanor Fletcher, who dedicated her life to exploring her local surroundings, discovering threats facing local marine life and ecosystems, innovating solutions, and educating the public about conservation. Now in its 11th year, the Go Blue Awards Luncheon has become Florida’s largest and most preeminent ocean conservation awards event.

On Friday, October 25th, we will explore our oceans with keynote speaker Dr. Robert Ballard, National Geographic’s explorer in-residence with over 125 deep ocean explorations to his credit one of which enabled the world to pinpoint the wreck of the Titanic. At the ceremony, we will celebrate individuals and businesses who are championing ocean conservation through unparalleled innovation. 

As we discover a new generation of explorers and innovators, we ask you to keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for information regarding our ocean heroes, our 2019 Go Blue Award finalists. 

Once again, we will host our awards ceremony at the elegant Kravis Center in West Palm Beach due to continuing increased demand. We are humbled to report that we have officially sold out our event, with 700 guests and a growing wait-list! We thank this year’s presenting sponsor Manatee Lagoon – an FPL Eco Discovery Center, which for the third year has offered to sponsor this prestigious event. We also extend our sincere gratitude to the amazing committee, staff, volunteers and supporters who work tirelessly each year to help us host a world-class event. 

From its humble beginnings as a community event, the awards ceremony has evolved into a globally acknowledged ceremony that features an independent panel of judges comprised of elite ocean conservationists, including esteemed National Geographic explorers, discoverers and innovators. At this time, I would like to thank our 2019 Go Blue Awards judges: Dr. Gary & Brenda Adkison – U.S. Shark Foundation, Director; Jeff Corwin – Biologist and wildlife conservationist, known for hosting Disney Channel’s Going Wild with Jeff Corwin, The Jeff Corwin Experience on Animal Planet, and ABC’s Ocean Treks; Fabien Cousteau – Aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, conservationist, and documentary filmmaker; Glenn Glazer – Meteorologist; Greg Marshall – Marine biologist, filmmaker, and inventor of Crittercam; Cristina Mittermeier – Contributing Photographer, Speaker, and Explorer for National Geographic; Sally Murray – Daughter of LMC Founder, Eleanor Fletcher; Susan Murray – Oceana Deputy Vice President U.S. Pacific, Granddaughter of LMC Founder, Eleanor Fletcher; Paul Nicklen – Acclaimed National Geographic Photographer, Biologist and Conservationist; Joel Sartore – Photo Ark Founder, photographer, speaker, author, teacher, and a 20-year contributor to National Geographic magazine; Jim Toomey – Former Mission Blue Executive Director, Creator of Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip; and Dr. Edith Widder  Researcher and Founder of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA). 

This year, our judges received a record number of award nominations forcing them to make a challenging decision of narrowing down the finalists and award recipients. Although our judges were able to select only three finalists, we received ample nominations in each category advocating for the conservation efforts of young children, reputable professionals, community volunteers, and blue businesses. 

Our judges and staff members, were especially moved by the record number of nominations for our “Blue Hatchling Youth Award” category. We are thankful for and inspired by a new wave of ocean advocates who will help increase the health of our sea turtles, our oceans, and ultimately ourselves. At Loggerhead Marinelife Center, we know that there is no age minimum or maximum to be an ocean hero, past Blue Hatchling Youth Award winners have founded their own nonprofits, started a Zero-Waste store and led underwater cleanups. We know that you are never too young or too old to explore the ocean, discover your passion or innovate a new solution. A special thank you to the ocean heroes who work tirelessly to create an ocean-inspired legacy! 

When our Go Blue Awards started, the topic of ocean conservation rarely entered the mainstream media. However, after eleven years, ocean conservation has become one of the largest topics discussed in the mainstream media and is ranked as one of the top seventeen items in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. With the illumination of ocean conservation, we’ve witnessed global companies make Waves Of Progress by opting out of using/offering plastic straws, switching to providing canned and/or boxed water, and beginning to create retail-items fabricated from marine debris. In the last few years, with your support, we’ve managed to change the tides on ocean conservation. 

LMC’s Blue Table Program
In an effort to continue to propel ocean conservation, earlier this week we officially launched our Blue Table program, a collaborative effort with local restaurants and businesses to help protect the marine environment. Currently, our Blue Table partners are working to reduce single-use plastics and promote sustainable seafood choices in their establishments. A special thank you to our six founding Blue Table partners: 1000 North, Carve Surf & Coffee, Hog Snappers, Papa Kwan’s Coffee Shop, The Cooper Restaurant, and Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar. 

We are grateful for your collaboration and efforts to create a community focused on ocean conservation! Because of extraordinary people and organizations, such as our Blue Table founding partners, who have stepped up as leaders, ocean conservation continues to remain at the forefront of vital discussions. 

LMC In The News:
Although we are a local, community-driven nonprofit, our currents of change have reached global shores. Most recently, LMC’s conservation efforts were highlighted by National Geographic and featured on a special segment of the TODAY Show. With this recognition, in under 48 hours, over 37,000 unique, new users visited our website. As a result of the overwhelmingly positive reaction, the TODAY Show has continued to promote tracking and adopting our most recently released sea turtle patient, “Today.” With the recent announcement of our new blue initiatives and research achievements, we’ve continued to remain in the news. This current spotlight allows us to discuss our innovative research solutions, such as our researchers’ exploration of drug therapy, normally used to treat human drug overdose patients, to treat sea turtles suffering from the toxic effects of red tide and our recent record nesting season. 

Hurricane Dorian’s Impact on Sea Turtle Nesting Season:
As mentioned previously, we recorded a very successful sea turtle nesting season despite Hurricane Dorian’s impacts on our coast. While the wind and wave action from Hurricane Dorian eroded our local beaches leaving sea turtle nests and eggs exposed, sea turtles have continued to nest on our local beaches. Although Hurricane Dorian’s proximity to our coast did have an effect on sea turtle nests, no storm season is a complete loss for sea turtles (which our data supports). Our research team has calculated Hurricane Dorian’s impact on sea turtle nests located on our 9.5-mile stretch of beach and have estimated that the storm affected approximately 18% (3,793) of total nests (20,951) on our beach at the time of the storm. 

Even with the nests lost due to Hurricane Dorian, our research team predicts to document over 17,000 successful nests on our beach for the 2019 season. Sea turtle nesting season concludes on October 31st and sea turtles will continue to lay nest on the Center’s local beaches contributing to even more nesting success for 2019 making this nesting season one of  the most productive sea turtle nesting seasons on record. Although sea turtle nesting season concludes on October 31st, nests can continue to hatch out through the end of the year, thus it’s critical that we continue to keep our beaches clean and dark, which will further increase the odds that sea turtle hatchlings can safely embark on their 5 to 15 mile, ocean-journey to find sargassum. With your help, we can continue to spread global awareness regarding the plight of sea turtles! 

On behalf of our incredible team of staff, volunteers, and supporters, I want to personally thank you for your passion and interest in our mission. As we set our sights on 2020, we look forward to continuing to create Waves of Progress and a long-lasting legacy of ocean conservation with you. Construction for our expanded campus is under way however, we need your help to further strengthen the fundraising foundation we have established, please consider a gift to our campaign, no gift is too small.  From custom inscribed pavers to our new ocean-conservation wing, we hope you will consider helping us insure LMC’s impact will not only grow but will stand the test of time in Florida and around our awe-inspiring blue planet.  

Thank you for your support of our mission and vision; I look forward to visiting with you soon on our campus or in our community!

With Gratitude,
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO

The Eleventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon

On Friday, October 25, 2019, the Eleventh Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon will be held at the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion in West Palm Beach. The Eleventh Annual Go Blue Awards recognizes 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, Dr. Robert Ballard. Renowned oceanographer and underwater explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, is best known for his 1985 discovery of the RMS Titanic and has currently concluded an expedition to find remains of Amelia Earhart’s plane.

What’s New in Rehab?

In the past two months, the hospital welcomed Taylor Clasen, a new Rehabilitation Technician staff member. We are extremely happy to have Taylor, a previous intern in our hospital and research departments, as a full time member of the team.

Prior to her internships at LMC, Taylor worked as a Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Intern at the New England Aquarium, and was a Research Assistant for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research. Taylor’s clear focus in the world of sea turtle research and rehabilitation has made her a perfect fit for the hospital team. Last year, she graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor of science in biology, and is now pursuing a degree in veterinary technology, in the hopes of obtaining a veterinary technician license.

Taylor has already shown great enthusiasm and passion in her position at LMC, and has exhibited outstanding work ethic, especially when facing hurricane preparations due to hurricane Dorian, just several weeks after starting her job. During the hurricane preparations, the hospital staff and volunteers secured all equipment both in the outdoor hospital and indoor hospital. Each patient was then safely moved into a secure building and readied to remain dry-docked until it was safe enough to return them to
their individual tanks. We were very happy to have Taylor working by our sides during these efforts.

Conservation Corner

During a sea turtle awareness course held in partnership with Jupiter Dive Center, six divers came to LMC to visit our turtles and learn more about identifying and respectfully observing sea turtles while diving. 

The divers also participated in LMC’s citizen science program, and helped collect data on sea turtle populations, sizes, and human interactions observed while diving.

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

In August 2019, eight beach cleanups were evaluated, with 7,190 pieces of debris removed from Florida beaches. Data shows that over 91.5% of debris collected in August was made of plastic. This month alone, volunteers removed over 1,806 single-use plastic items like straws, cups, and bags.

Nesting season ends October 31, will we make it to 21,000 nests?!

Research Update

This year’s night tagging and research program was a huge success, with the team tagging nearly 400 individual turtles – more than any other year. A number of turtles were seen more than once, but our team’s personal favorite was the green turtle “Avocado,” who was sampled on three separate occasions (June 21, August 6, August 16). The table below describes the number of encounters and total number of individuals by species.

Fletch’s Fall Festival

As the SEAsons are changing from summer to fall, we invite everyone to join us on campus and take a pledge to change a behavior that would help save our oceans! During this free family-friendly event, guests will be able to preview and partake in our updated fall education and conservation programs, and learn about how to be more sustainable in their everyday lives. Our lovable mascot, Fletch, will also be on campus and available for meet and greets and wonderful photos in our Fall-themed courtyard.

When: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Host your holiday party at Loggerhead Marinelife Center this SEA-son!

Looking to host your company’s holiday party somewhere unique while also supporting our endangered local wildlife? Loggerhead Marinelife Center is opening up its doors and welcoming businesses to celebrate the holidays with the sea turtles this season! Room rental will include a complimentary tour for your guests of our Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, where you will have a chance to meet-and-greet our sea turtle patients and learn about one of Florida’s most iconic sea creatures. For more information on booking your holiday party amongst the sea turtles, please contact the Education Department at 561-627-8280 ext 119 or at reservations@marinelife.org.

Adoption Spotlight

New adoption packages!! We have redesigned our adoption program with new packages, certificates and more!

Have you ever wanted to name one of our sea turtle patients? Now you can support Loggerhead Marinelife Center by symbolically naming a sea turtle hatchling!

Volunteer Spotlight

We’re grateful for a volunteer community that makes it so tough to choose a Volunteer of the Month, but for the month of August we would like to recognize a volunteer who has been working extra hard in two departments to help serve LMC, Liz Spears.

Liz has served 588+ hours in a variety of roles since her start in January 2016. She educates visitors in the Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital on Monday mornings, and assists in adoptions and administrative tasks on Thursdays.
Liz is the most generous, kind hearted person and we are so thankful to have the privilege of working with her. She is always willing to lend a helping hand, is self-sufficient and knows how to get things done. She is a joy to be around and we look forward to working with her in the future. Thank you for your hard work Liz!

With the all the hurricane preparations, the Volunteer Community contributed in more ways than one and arrived eager to help. Extra hands on deck, once again, made it difficult to choose just one Volunteer of the Month, but it is with great pleasure that we recognize Pete Wells.

Pete has served 606 hours (and counting!) dedicated to his assistance in rehab. Not only did Pete step up to help dry-dock patients and lend a hand to the operations team when dismounting TV’s and awnings during hurricane preparations, but Pete has gone above and beyond assisting with hatchling releases during the busy tail end of nesting season. He does his job with such composure and enthusiasm, and we’re grateful to have him with us—thank you, Pete!

Mascot Corner: Family Fun!

Hello Friends,

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot. Can you answer these Fletch questions?

  • How did I get my name?
  • How old am I?
  • Where was I born?
  • What are my favorite movies?
  • Where did I go to college?

For the answer to these questions, check out my “Home.” Did you answer all the questions or did you need help? During my many ocean adventures, I have made new friends along the way. To meet these friends, go to the “Meet Fletch’s Friends” tab on the “Home” page. Be sure to visit their websites to learn more about them. Then save the “Meet Fletch’s Friends” page as a favorite. New friends are added as my ocean adventures continue. For fun/educational activities, go to the “Activities” tab on the “Home”
page and solve each activity (word scrambles, connect the dots, word
searches, puzzles etc.). The activities are educational and fun to do.

To all my friends that like to color, check out the coloring pages on the
“Coloring Pages” tab of the “Home” page. Print out the coloring pages
and start coloring.

Now, let’s make a sea turtle! It’s a Turtle-y Fun-tastic craft. Go to the
“Make a Sea Turtle Craft” tab on the “Home” page. Gather the
materials you need and follow the instructions. Let’s get started!

“Fletch The Explorer” loves to travel the oceans of the world looking for opportunities to save sea turtles and to keep my ocean home “Clean and Blue, Trash Free!” On your next family adventure take “Fletch The Explorer” along. It’s easy, go to the “Fletch The Explorer” tab on the “Home” page. Print me out, color me if needed, cut me out and take me along. Document the family adventure with “Fletch The Explorer” through photos. Then send your photos to fletch@marinelife.org, so I can post the photos to the “Fletch The Explorer” web page. Where are we going and when do we leave?

Who is a “Fletch Ocean Champion?” It’s an individual, regardless of
age, that demonstrates through their actions a commitment to keep my
ocean home “Clean and Blue, Trash Free.” If you know someone,
recognize their efforts by giving them a “Fletch Ocean Champion
Certificate of Excellence.”

It’s easy, go to the “Ocean Champion” tab on the “Home” page. Print
out the certificate, fill in their name and present them with the
certificate. Then send Fletch an e-mail (fletch@marinelife.org) with
their name, where they live (city and state) and why they received the certificate, so Fletch can add their name to the “Fletch Ocean
Champion” team roster. Remember a trash free ocean starts with you
and me.

Did you have fun with these activities? If you did, please share the
activities with your teachers, classmates, friends and family.

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 logo 8X8 – $450 – Limit 120 characters including spaces, 80 if including a logo.

Shop Where it Counts

Take your sandwich on the go with Bee’s Wrap® sandwich wrap. After making your sandwich, simply place it in the middle of the wrap, fold in the corners, and wrap the string around the wooden bee button. This can also be used as a placemat.

Perfect for both grownups and kids, this sustainable sandwich wrap is the natural alternative for food storage. 

  • Reusable.
  • Use the warmth of your hands to soften the wrap and create a seal. When cool, the wrap will hold its shape.
  • Wash in COOL water with a mild dish soap. Let air dry.
  • Made of beeswax, organic cotton, organic jojoba oil and tree resin.
  • Sandwich wrap is 13″ x 13″ (33 x 33 cm).

Thank You To Our Outstanding Supporters!

Bonnie Simes, new donor, provided $1300 to help complete the Gopher Tortoise Study. She had never been to LMC before so we welcomed her for a tour of the burroughs and of our sea turtle hospital. Here is her adventure visiting our center!
We would like to thank our September beach clean up sponsor James P. Stanton, CFP, Senior V.P. Wealth Management, Portfolio Manager, www.ubs.com/fa/jamesstanton. UBS Financial Services, 3801 PGA Blvd- 10th Floor, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410, 561-624-6410, toll free: 800-843-5451.
This month we celebrated our Go Blue Awards Kick- Off party where we announced our 2019 Go Blue Awards Finalists! We would like to thank our Presenting Sponsor Manatee Lagoon an FPL Eco- Discovery Center, who hosted this very special event at their beautiful center. 
Marriott’s Ocean Pointe & Oceana Palms brought their executive team to visit our patients at The Sea Turtle Hospital and delivered a generous gift! We are grateful to our coastal communities and residences that join our efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastics.