Palm Beach County typically sees an increase in boating activity on Memorial Day Weekend.

Red, white, and protecting the ocean blue! This Memorial Day Weekend, we encourage you to observe our fallen heroes while responsibly boating.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is honored to partner with the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County (MIAPBC) to educate boaters and anglers to be more aware of marine life, especially sea turtles. During nesting season, March 1st to October 31st in South Florida, sea turtles reside close to shore to mate and lay their nests on our local beaches.

The 9.5-mile stretch of beach monitored and protected by LMC is one of the most densely populated nesting beaches in the entire world. Thus, our local South Florida waterways are filled with an abundance of green, leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles. Together, we kindly ask boaters to pack their best boating practices while charting local waters and keep an eye out for marine life.

A drone shot of Loggerhead Marinelife Center's research team documenting a newly laid sea turtle nest.
A drone shot of Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s research team documenting a newly laid sea turtle nest. Photo courtesy of Matt Hayes Photography.

As most know, Florida’s pristine coastlines have long been home to thousands of sea turtles and other marine life. Unfortunately, however, many species have exhibited signs of injuries from unintentional boat strikes, fishing hooks, unintended fishing line entanglement, and marine debris ingestion.

Galapagos, a beloved green sea turtle patient at The Sea Turtle Hospital at LMC, was found floating, and unable to dive offshore of Jupiter, after an unintentional boat strike injury to the back of his shell and fresh injuries to its right marginal carapace. Since his arrival, he’s been receiving antibiotics for his buoyancy disorder and injuries until he returns to a healthy state.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center receives sea turtles unintentionally struck by a boat, such as Galapagos, which is a green sea turtle.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center receives sea turtles unintentionally struck by a boat, such as Galapagos, which is a green sea turtle.

Fortunately, the 40,000 registered boaters and vessel owners in Palm Beach County have the beautiful opportunity to increase marine life safety during their sun-soaked voyage. Especially if they keep the following best practices in mind while boating during Memorial Day Weekend:

  • Wear polarized sunglasses to reduce glares on the water and spot sea turtles & marine life
  • Avoid exceeding wake zone speeds to ensure the safety of all present marine life
  • Collect all fishing line, gear and plastic used/seen in waterways
  • Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) upon any stranded or injured sea turtles
Loggerhead Marinelife Center has designed a safe boating reminder for the public to share during Memorial Day Weekend.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center has designed a safe boating reminder for the public to share during Memorial Day Weekend.

Due to nesting season, nearby sea turtle numbers have greatly increased in coastal waters, the Intracoastal waterways, near sandbars and in the bays and lagoons. Unfortunately, The Sea Turtle Hospital at LMC typically documents an increase in unintended sea turtle boat strikes during holiday weekends, especially ones in nesting season.

With mindful precautions, honest conversations, friendly reminders, and a pair of polarized sunglasses, together we can keep our waters cleaner and teeming with healthy turtles this nesting season. Sea turtles, sunshine and sparkling clean water – the trifecta of fun! Join us as we promote the conservation of our serene coastal ecosystems.

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If you discover a sick, injured or stranded sea turtle, please call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (*FWC) or LMC’s Sea Turtle Stranding Hotline at 561-603-0211.

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Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 360,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.

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Media Contact:

Lauren Eissey

Public Relations and Engagement Specialist

561-627-8280, x124

leissey@marinelife.org