Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is open and ready to welcome guests of all ages to take part in fun summer experiences and new educational programs that help protect local marine ecosystems, ocean, and sea turtle conservation.
“Our summer events and programs reinforce our focus on education, conservation, research, and the rescue and rehabilitation of threatened and endangered sea turtles, which is so important to our community,” said LMC Board Chair Brian Waxman. “Loggerhead Marinelife Center has always been a beloved destination for locals and will be a ‘must stop’ for thousands of locals and tourists this summer.”
During the 2022 turtle nesting season, LMC has recorded a total of 4,285 turtle nests so far on the beaches of Juno, Jupiter-Carlin, and Tequesta. Of that total, 3,995 nests are from loggerheads, 242 nests are from leatherbacks, and 48 nests are from green turtles.
This year’s active turtle nesting season offers guests the opportunity to encounter sea turtles in the wild and learn about sea turtles and ocean conservation in South Florida through LMC’s summer activities. As always, admission to LMC remains free.
Run 4 The Sea – On Saturday, June 18, join a 4-mile timed race and a kids’ 1-mile race along A1A in Juno Beach. The 11th annual race is open to runners, walkers, and hikers of all ages. All race proceeds benefit LMC’s mission to promote conservation of ocean ecosystems, with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. Registration is open now. ($50 for adults and $25 for kids; includes a sport-style participant T-shirt, custom finisher medal, and race bib.)
Guided Nightly Turtle Walks – In June and July, visitors can learn about and observe the nesting and egg-laying process of sea turtles. Visitors will enjoy an informative presentation on the plight of sea turtles along with a variety of hands-on learning experiences. Once a loggerhead sea turtle emerges and begins her egg-laying process, the group is then led down to the beach by LMC’s authorized scouts to witness this unforgettable experience. Registration is open now. ($22 for nonmembers and $20 for members; ages 10 and up; Tuesdays-Saturdays at 9 p.m.)
Nightly Hatchling Releases – In this unique experience, guests learn about baby sea turtles, the hatching process, and a hatchling’s fight for survival. The program begins with an educational lesson about sea turtles and their conservation, and concludes with an opportunity to observe hatchlings taking their first crawls into the ocean by LMC’s authorized staff. Registration is available online beginning July 1. ($24 for nonmembers and $22 for members; ages 8 and up; month of August only, Monday-Sunday at 8 p.m.)
Sunrise Nest Excavations – Seasoned educators will give the public insight into LMC’s sea turtle research. Guests will join authorized staff on Juno, Jupiter, 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 sea turtle nest inventory and record their own data to take home as a memento. Registration is available online beginning July 1. ($24 for nonmembers and $22 for members; ages 8 and up; August-September 1, Sunday-Thursday at 7 a.m.)
Guests ages 8 and up can also participate in fun, hands-on activities at LMC every week.
Rescue to Release Virtual Reality Theater Show – This digital program allows guests to follow a sea turtle’s narrated journey from rescue to release. With the use of virtual reality headsets, viewers are transported into real action scenes from the beach rescue to the sea turtle hospital, then to one of LMC’s releases. ($5 per person; Tuesday-Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
Beyond the Glass Tour – This unique guided tour allows guests to dive into South Florida’s coastal ecosystems through an in-person and virtual reality crossover. Participants will explore what goes on “beyond the glass” in each of LMC’s outdoor campus ecosystems. Using virtual reality headsets, guests discover each habitat’s distinct characteristics and importance to South Florida. ($20 per person; Monday-Saturday at 2 p.m.)
At LMC, guests can enjoy new outdoor ecosystems teeming with sharks, fish, and other marine life as part of their daily activities. Visit with the LMC staff at 1:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. for amphitheater talks on marine science, observe shark and fish feedings at 2:30 p.m., participate in the self-guided Jr. Vet program, educating children on the process of sea turtle rescue to release, and explore the Center’s new, interactive Digital Reef.
For more information on LMC’s activities, please visit marinelife.org/tours/.