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2018 Go Blue Award Recipients 

Eleanor Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award:


Dr. Charles Manire

To the young guests who press their noses to the hospital window at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, he is simply “Dr. Charlie” who helps sick sea turtles get well.

To Center volunteers and staff, Dr. Charlie, LMC’s director of research and rehabilitation, is a beloved force and daily inspiration.

To his peers — researchers, biologists and veterinarians who study and treat marine species — Dr. Charles Manire sets a global standard for scientific innovation and impact on sea turtle health.

“Charlie Manire has been a consistent and fearless innovator in marine animal medicine throughout his career, working to improve the health of sick or injured sea turtles, whales, manatees, and sharks,” says Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, and world-renowned authority on sea turtles.

“Focusing on sea turtle health full-time at Loggerhead Marinelife Center has allowed Dr. Charlie to build upon his diverse and deep body of knowledge and clinical practice to benefit some of the most valuable members of the sea turtle populations.  His innovative approaches result in more patients recovering and so incrementally increasing chances of the species recovering from their imperiled status.”

Dr. Wyneken underscores the importance of Dr. Manire’s innovations. “Juvenile and adult turtles have the highest chances of contributing to the growth of depleted populations simply because they have outgrown most predators.  So, taking sick and injured turtles and making them well means his subadult patients have a second chance at reaching adulthood and breeding, or if adults, breeding.  The more healthy sub-adults and adults we can return to the ocean the better the chances to build the populations back up.”

Dr. Manire developed a game changer for sea turtle treatment — a novel method of injecting nutrients called total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Thanks to TPN, LMC now saves once untreatable patients with chronic debilitation syndrome, a condition that prevents turtles from eating or digesting food or medicine. Since implementing TPN, Manire has succeeded in saving and returning to the ocean nearly 90% of chronically debilitated patients that previously would not have survived.

Discover Magazine, profiling Dr. Manire in 2015, called TPN “similar to IV nutrition for hospital patients whose digestive systems aren’t functional. For turtles, Manire has developed a custom mix of amino acids, fatty acids and sugars for each sea turtle species. Treatment lasts one hour, twice a day, and gives the turtle 2 ounces of fluid – a rate that would be deadly for a human being. But it’s just what the sea turtles need. After a few treatments, most turtles regain enough strength and begin eating their usual diet of solid food again. The procedure minimizes the amount of time turtles must stay out of water and gives them complete nutrition in fluid form.”

By mixing the ratios of the ingredients, Dr. Manire is testing ways to use the IV system to address other turtle health hazards such as treating intoxications that might arise if a turtle gets into a harmful algae bloom like red tide toxin. He has also worked closely with veterinarians in South America to adapt the procedure for penguin chicks facing starvation and is testing ways to use it to save other aquatic animals.
Dr. Manire edited and co-authored Sea Turtle Health and Rehabilitation, (Ross Publishing). This 1010-page textbook is the first for veterinarians working with sea turtles. In Fall 2017 more than 200 of Dr. Charlie’s family, fans and friends celebrated the book’s launch. At the event, LMC President and CEO Jack Lighton called “Dr. Manire a world-class scientist whose passion and tireless commitment to advancing sea turtle health has helped veterinarians and institutions across the globe improve their treatment of this critically important marine species.”

Dr. Charlie hosts veterinarians from other countries where sea turtles nest and when time permits, travels to deliver papers and discuss his research.

LMC’s expansion plans aim to broaden Dr. Charlie’s reach: there will be more space to welcome visiting veterinarians who wish to train with him, and new digital equipment to assist with diagnosis and allow remote consultation with other institutions treating sea turtles.

Dr. Charlie’s hospital treats and releases an average of 100 sub-adult and adult sea turtles annually and shelters and releases hundreds, sometimes thousands, of hatchlings stranded or dislocated by storms.

With his innovative thinking, high level of care, rigorous science, and commitment to sea turtle conservation, Dr. Charlie has put Loggerhead Marinelife Center at the forefront of sea turtle medicine.

As an LMC board member, I’m proud to nominate Dr. Charlie for the Eleanor Fletcher Award: He fits perfectly into the list of previous winners. Dr. Charlie is a tireless innovator doing world-class work right in our own back yard.

Blue Ambassador of the Year Award:

Anja Burns

I would like to nominate Anja Burns for Blue Ambassador of the Year. This honor is warranted by the fact that Anja has been a champion of Loggerhead Marinelife Center for more than twenty-six years. During that time, Anja has logged more than 6,000 volunteer hours.

Most recognize Anja as the fun loving “German speaking” gift store associate working two shifts a week. What they do not know is that Anja has volunteered in every sector of Loggerhead Marinelife Center over the course of the last three decades. She has served as an education docent, raising awareness in the community and educating guests on sea turtle rehabilitation and the importance of ocean conservation. Years ago, Anja worked in the rehabilitation department caring for our sea turtle patients and releasing them back into the wild. In addition to the above, she facilitates outreach programs and manages pop up stores for LMC.

Anja has been one of the most dedicated, reliable volunteers that Loggerhead Marinelife Center has ever had. She was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2014 and Gift Store Volunteer of the Year in 2017. Guests of the sea turtle hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center know Anja by name and love engaging her in conversation, listening to her underwater stories. Guests and customers alike just enjoy hearing about Anja’s experience in the deep blue sea.

Prior to volunteering at LMC, Anja was a well-known underwater photographer. Anja worked closely with Jim Abernathy collecting photos of sea turtles and sharks. She loved being underwater, feeling like she was “in a new world” and observing these animals in their natural habitat. She would show these photos to both children and adult visitors at Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Her passion for the health and well-being of sea turtles as well as ocean conservation has been her life mission and she has demonstrated this for many years through her years of service. Anja is one of four hundred volunteers at LMC and is an invaluable member of the team. She is the ideal ambassador for Loggerhead Marinelife Center and her warm, caring personality is unmatched.

Blue Friend of the Year Award:


Jacquelyn Kingston

Jacquelyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology and a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences from Florida Atlantic University. Her published Master’s Degree research has been incorporated into the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook. She is also the permit holder for Marine Turtle Permit (MTP) #098 and has been monitoring local beaches in Palm Beach County for sea turtle nests for 18 years. Prior to obtaining her Bachelor’s degree, Jacquelyn spent five years volunteering her time at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, FL.

She also completed a summer internship with Mote Marine Laboratory’s sea turtle department in Sarasota, FL. In 2016, Jacquelyn started Sea Turtle Adventures (STA) a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The mission of STA is to conserve local populations of sea turtles, educate the public about the marine environment, and provide nature-based programs to adults with disabilities who enjoy the marine environment.

Sea turtle conservation: During her 18 years monitoring local beaches for sea turtle nests, Jacquelyn has trained and provided oversight to a group of 6 volunteers who conduct daily sea turtle monitoring activities. She is often on the beach herself conducting the monitoring and talking to beachgoers.

Artificial lighting: Jacquelyn takes time to perform night-time lighting surveys and works directly with the local municipalities to address artificial lighting to ensure that the 3-mile section of beach she is responsible for monitoring remains darks throughout nesting season.

Marine pollution: Since forming STA in September 2016, Jacquelyn has held over 30 beach cleanups in the last 22 months. Trash collected during cleanups is categorized and the data is reported to Ocean Conservancy. Plastics and rope are recycled into craft projects during outreach events.

Responsible Pier Initiative (RPI): In 2016 Jacquelyn proactively approached the Loggerhead Marinelife Center asking if her newly formed organization, STA, could implement the RPI at a very popular and highly fished inlet in southern Palm Beach County (Boynton Beach Inlet). Since that partnership was formed, STA volunteers have visited the inlet weekly to talk to fisherman, hand out circle fishing hooks, and empty and recycle monofilament canisters. As part of this program we also respond the calls about injured shorebirds and seabirds. In 2018 alone, she and other STA volunteers have rescued six injured birds and transported them to Busch Wildlife for treatment.

Education: Jacquelyn and her team provide on-demand educational presentations to school groups, community groups, and corporations who have an interest in learning more about sea turtles and marine conservation but prefer to have the presentation brought to them as opposed to visiting a local sea turtle hospital. STA has completed 11 educational presentations to date in 2018. Also in 2018, Jacquelyn developed a “ride-along” program where interested members of the public can ride-along with a sea turtle monitor on a morning sea turtle nesting survey. This program has been extremely successful and will be offered again in 2019. Jacquelyn is also passionate about helping adults with special needs. In 2017, she launched the iCARE Program through STA, which is a program she designed for adults with special needs who enjoy nature and the marine environment. The Program provides two free two hour events each month in the community, often at environmental centers, and is intended to teach this population about the marine environment and also assist with life skills training. The Program began with 7 participants in November 2017 and as of July 2019 has 29 participants with no program dropouts.

Conservation: In 2018, STA partnered with Palm Beach County to adopt the Ocean Ridge Natural Area and promote its use. Jacquelyn visited this location and found this natural area to be a hidden gem and STA is the official adopter of this natural area and tasked with helping to keep it clean and promoting its use.

Blue Hatchling Youth Award:


Madison Toonder

Nomination:
I wholeheartedly nominate Madison Toonder of St. Augustine Beach, FL.  Madison is a conservation-related scientific researcher, educator, environmental advocate and youth engagement advisor. As a little girl growing up next to the ocean, Madison became acutely aware of the danger our oceans and its inhabitants were facing at a very young age.

Beginning in middle school Madison became interested in utilizing scientific research as a platform for investigating environmental concerns.  Her first research project in 7th grade involved air quality.  Her next project (in 8th grade) revolved around pollutants swimmers slough off into the ocean and waterways and its effect on marine life.  Her results were astounding.  Her study supported her theory that chemicals in sun block were not only harmful to humans and marine life but the cumulative effect over time was causing die offs of certain species.  Her study revolved around the oyster but inferences could be made about the other marine species who rely on the oyster for water quality, food and protection.  This study was conducted in 2014.  Since then other major studies have been conducted that support the study Madison did on her own from her back porch.  She raised oysters in multiple tanks, grew her own algae, cycled the bay water daily and injected different amounts of chemical sunscreen and mineral sun block into each tank based on a mathematic equation from sewage water data to examine the effect.  She set up iPads to record the effect on the oysters gape rhythms and the ultimate demise of those individuals introduced to the chemical sunscreens.

Since this study, Madison moved up the food chain and began studies of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis and has compared resilient alligator immunity with that of the sea turtle to see if there is a connection that can be drawn to connect and intertwine the alligator’s superior resilience to disease while living in the same conditions as many species of sea turtle.  She has developed multiple research concepts in which she conducts comparative pathology studies with samples provided by Dr. Justin Perrault of Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Dr. Nicole Stacy of University of Florida and Dr. Carolyn Cray of the University of Miami Avian and Wildlife Pathology Lab.

Madison’s work utilizes modern human comparative laboratory tests to gain new insight into assessment parameters currently used to gauge sea turtle health.  By utilizing capillary electrophoresis to compare plasma samples of sea turtle individuals in comparison to the common use of agarose gel electrophoresis a higher resolution of 9 fractions could be defined vs 6 with gel electrophoresis.  The newfound differences seen with higher resolution supports continued examination of capillary electrophoresis as a tool to more finely assess green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis severity in conjunction with the balazs tumor score.

Madison’s award-winning work has earned her a well respected place among her peers at local, Regional and international science fairs.  In addition to science fair awards, she was named 2nd place in the nation for her oyster research data by the Broadcom MASTERS competition in Silicon Valley in 2015.

This past week she attended the 67th Annual Wildlife Disease Association conference where her abstract was not only accepted for inclusion in the poster presentation session but was selected among the top 30 abstracts out of 264 submissions.  Madison was the only high school student among graduate students phd candidates and seasoned industry professionals from around the world.

In addition to utilizing her research to gain platforms to discuss the plight of our oceans, waterways and marine wildlife she participates in multiple activities which allow her to serve as a voice and educator to teach people how to be better stewards of our world.  Madison has been a volunteer and docent at the Brevard Zoo for the past 4 years where she handles animals and educates guests about conservation of habitat for our wildlife.  She has been a committee chair for the Sea World Youth Advisory Council where she assists corporate with ideas to engage our world’s youth to conserve our oceans and marinelife.  Through her past 2 years in this position she has had opportunity to speak with varying groups regarding her message of conservation.  She also had opportunity to go out on the M/V OCEARCH for the day to learn from Chris Fischer and onboard researchers about the research they are conducting in the name of ocean conservation.  Madison was the youth face of the new collaboration between Sea World and OCEARCH to tag released marine animals to track their progress after rehabilitation.

This past July, Madison was invited to be one of the 6 youth of the 2018 Sea Youth Rise Up delegation to Washington, DC for World Oceans Day.  Madison and her peers conducted a live feed google presentation highlighting their individual conservation platforms and spoke on stage to all of the attendees for the World Oceans Day rally and march.  They also met with members congress to discuss marine conservation.  Madison was honored to be in the company of her mentors and conservation heroes i.e. Fabian Cousteau, Philippe Cousteau, Wallace Nichols, Sylvia Earle and others.

Madison’s research platform has allowed her face-time with youth all over the world to promote marine and ocean conservation.  Her vibrant personality, friendliness and charisma engages her audience.  She is a born leader and educator.  Her future aspiration is to become a marine or exotic animal veterinarian with a focus on conservation of endangered species and outreach so she can continue her conservation work.  Her dream job is to be a veterinarian/researcher at a zoo or aquarium where she can continue her research while caring for animals and educate guests about what they can do at home to conserve our oceans and the world we live in for us and the animals around us.  She will apply to college this fall.

Blue Business of the Year:

 

The Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation (ARHF) mission is to “enhance and protect the marine habitat”. Web pursue our “enhancement” mission by building artificial reefs offshore of northern Palm Beach County and our “protection” mission by encouraging children to love the ocean. The foundation’s efforts to raise money and generate support for protecting our marine environment by building new habitat has helped make many more people aware of what they can do to help. Many local residents and businesses and people from all over the country have contributed to our projects- because they care and we give them a way to get involved.

Our reefs will build local fish populations for the future, but we believe it is also critical to build a new generation of marine environmentalists. We want today’s children to learn to love our oceans, rivers and lakes—and to strive to protect them throughout their lives. If you ask a marine scientist why they chose their occupation or when they first fell in love with the ocean they will likely tell you it happened as a result of childhood experiences.

The foundation believes teaching children to love the ocean will have huge future benefits for the children and for our environment. We need more of our population to see our marine environment as a huge asset that must be protected, and the earlier in their lives they get started, the better.

With those goals in mind, the foundation is donating 11,000 five book sets of the “Professor Clark the Science Shark” third grade STEM readers to every third grade classroom in Florida, a $730,000 donation. The Palm Beach County School Board received their 1000 book sets (5000 books) August 13, 2018. The book series tells the story of a little boy (Andrew) that meets and befriends an orphaned tiger shark pup. The marine animals communicate their problems and needs to the human world through Andrew. Andrew loves his marine friends and shows how deeply he cares for them by organizing reef and beach cleanups and rushing out to help them after a hurricane in book 5. In book 4, “Reada’s Rescue” the marine animals show Andrew a sick turtle and he helps save it by calling the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and transferring the turtle to the rescue boat.

Loggerhead is prominently featured in book 4 with pages in the story and LMC pages in the back of the book. We are working with the Palm Beach School Board’s Elementary Science Supervisor to develop the program for teaching children to love the ocean and for implementing it in every third grade classroom in Palm Beach County (684). The Palm Beach program kicks off in August 2018 for the new school year, and when formally announced will be described as a $65,000 donation.

The donation and environmental education program will be announced statewide in October, 2018 when the foundation and a Palm Beach County School Board representative present it to the annual convention of the Florida Association of Science Supervisors and to the Florida Association of Science Teachers conventions in October, 2018.

The foundation will describe it’s goals in creating the marine environmental education program first to the science supervisors for each county school board in the state and then do the same for the leading science teachers from each of the state’s school boards. The Palm Beach School Board will share the blueprint and experience developed in Palm Beach County for sorting, barcoding and distributing the books to the classrooms, and training the third grade teachers on how to use the books to teach their students to love the ocean and it’s inhabitants.

The foundation has been working on this program for the past 6 months and we are very excited about the prospects for our donation benefitting the marine environment by helping create many, many more marine environmentalists!

The foundation partners with Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management to build new reefs with four ton concrete “Coral Heads” of our own design and 4-5’ diameter limestone boulders.

The ARHF has raised well over $1 million to fund it’s projects and has deployed 319 reef modules and 1800 tons of boulders since being founded in 2014 including:
 40 Coral Heads on our first site off Jupiter in 39’ of water in 2015
 100 Coral Heads and 300 tons of boulders in 58’ on our second site off Jupiter in 2016
 15 Coral Heads on the Blue Heron Bridge snorkel trail in 2016
 132 Coral Heads and 1000 tons of boulders on our second site in 2017
 a 17’ tall replica of the Jupiter lighthouse on our second site in 2017
August 17 and 23, 2018 the foundation created a new reef off Juno Beach in 75 feet of water
with 32 Coral Heads and 500 tons of boulders.

Please see the videos on our Facebook page and the attached brochure.

The Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation is a 501C3 non-profit that strives to enhance the marine environment by building artificial reefs and to protect it by encouraging children to love our oceans, rivers and lakes.

In 2018 we deployed two 250 ton boulder reefs and placed 32 of our four ton “Coral Heads” adjacent to them. We also began a significant education initiative in 2018 by donating a 5 book set of the “Professor Clark the Science Shark” series to every third grade classroom in Florida, 55,000 books in all! Children love the story of the little boy (Andrew) who becomes lifelong friends with
an orphaned tiger shark pup. The marine animals communicate their needs through Andrew to the human world. Together they
clean up a reef and a beach, and then help save a sick turtle as they teach Florida children to love the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and our rivers and lakes.