Spring months are fleeing, and soon enough, we’ll find ourselves in the summer months. June plants us in World Oceans Month where we will proudly wear our badge of honor at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC). But before that, we approach a day on May 21 that’s equally important: Endangered Species Day 2021.
Endangered species, such as our sea turtles patients, are key to maintaining ocean ecosystems. As an indicator species, they tell us the health of the ocean and are a barometer of the environmental conditions that exist and affect marine life. Sea turtles also help regulate marine environments, from managing jellyfish and sponge population through their eating habits to helping plants on the beach that receive nutrients from their decomposing eggs.
However, for an ancient creature that’s roamed the earth for thousands of years, we’ve only recently taken measures to safeguard sea turtles. It wasn’t until 1973 that the Endangered Species Act was enforced in the United States to protect and recover imperiled species. Needless to say, we have some catching up to do!
To that end, don’t give Endangered Species Day 2021 the cold shoulder. Instead, celebrate and support the species that are making a comeback through conservation efforts everywhere, like our patients! Check out five fun things to do with friends and family to pay tribute to your favorite endangered sea turtles.
Self-Guided Beach Cleanup: Keep our beaches clean and marine life safe by joining Saturday’s self-guided beach cleanups! It’s no secret that plastics are a common enemy to sea turtles. In fact, 100% of post hatchlings that have come through our doors have ingested some form of microplastics – and not by coincidence. In fact, the majority of the debris found on local beaches are logged in our sort reports and reflect hard, foam and film plastic pieces. In 2020, nearly 100 cleanups were conducted on Florida beaches by LMC and partner organizations, which collected an astounding 99,967 pieces of debris.
Jr. Veterinarian Lab: Children can teach us a lot of things and one of them might be the urgency of ocean conservation. Allow your kids to speak on behalf of endangered wildlife when they learn from our Jr. Veterinarian labs. Kids ages 6 – 12 can participate in this free 30-minute program on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, which will educate participants on LMC’s process of sea turtle rescue to release. Your Jr.Vet will come to the aid of a green sea turtle replica and learn about common injuries and illnesses that affect these endangered animals.
Public Guided Tour: Brush up on your endangered species knowledge with our Public Guided Tours! Our staff and docents are a wealth of knowledge who share the latest advancements, discoveries and groundbreaking procedures that save sea turtles. Additionally, during the one-hour program, a tour guide will lead registered guests through the Exhibit Hall and outdoor sea turtle hospital, touching on topics such as conservation efforts, LMC’s history, and the current conditions of our patients. Tours are offered Monday through Friday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Adopt a Sea Turtle Patient: What could be a more quintessential salute to Endangered Species Day than by adopting one? Year-round, supporters can adopt our sea turtle patients starting at $40. Each adoption directly benefits the continued care and treatment of our sick and injured sea turtles. It helps provide the food, medication, hospital care and tank maintenance critical to their health. You can choose from several of our current patients, including Big Chase, Little T, and Pike to name a few! Package levels vary from basic ($40) to the giant sea turtle package ($250).
Register for a Turtle Walk: It’s hard not to have a newfound respect for wild sea turtles when watching a nesting on our shores. Last year, we logged the third highest nesting season with 16,935 sea turtle nests. With another season well underway, we’ll be hosting our well-loved Guided Turtle Walks to give registrants an up-close look at nesting loggerheads. Once a loggerhead sea turtle is found by a FWC permitted educator, the group is then led down to the beach to witness this mesmerizing experience to watch her egg-laying process. Online registration is now open for interested participants for June and July months!
Animal lovers and conservationists, unite! Recognize Endangered Species Day through one of these summertime or year-round experiences here at LMC.
Education. LMC’s Education programs aim to empower and inspire individuals to engage in the conservation of the world’s ocean by providing STEM-based knowledge and resources to take responsible action. For in-field, in-classroom, and virtual education experiences, please email Guest Services at email@example.com.
One World. At Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) we strive to be industry leaders in sea turtle and ocean conservation. Our work is focused on four core pillars, each focused on demonstrating measurable impact. Our team researches and rehabilitates sea turtles because sea turtles tell us the health of the ocean, which tells us the health of our planet. These critical indicator species serve as our global ambassadors for ocean conservation. In this blog, we invite you to dive into the depths of ocean conservation and explore our research efforts.
Our educator biologists aim to empower and inspire individuals to engage in the conservation of the world’s oceans and ecosystems by providing STEM-based knowledge and resources to take responsible action. Donate to propel our mission and help save sea turtles.