CEO Chatter with Jack E. Lighton

Jack Lighton

Dear Friend of LMC, 

Happy New Year from all of us in Juno Beach, Florida! We are writing to you with warm new year’s wishes and heartfelt gratitude. Due to your kind support, 2019 was the most successful year in our Center’s history and together we were able to make Waves of Progress for sea turtle and ocean conservation.  

2019 was a notable year in many ways for LMC:

  • 350,000+ Guests welcomed to our campus with free admission!
  • 74,752 Guests educated through our STEM education programs
  • 20,998 Sea turtle nests marked and monitored on our 9.5 mile beach
  • 112 Sea turtle patients released
  • 180 Sea turtle patients in our care in 2019.
  • 4,578.92+ Pounds of trash removed from our local beaches through our clean up efforts
  • 200+ Mangroves grown by students in PBC Schools in partnership with LMC.

Additionally we enjoyed an amazing opportunity with NBC’s Today Show which showcased our Center and the story of, “Today” a beautiful green sea turtle who was released back into the ocean on live TV.

Lastly, our exciting Waves of Progress expansion construction commenced in 2019.  This revolutionary expansion will allow our Center to amplify and accelerate our conservation and education impact here in Florida and Internationally.  We invite you to learn more about our expansion by visiting our capital campaign web site and we invite you to join our passionate family of campaign supporters – no gift is too small.

As we embark on 2020 I am excited to share some exciting developments with you:

2020 Beach Cleanups: Keeping Our Beaches Sea-Turtle-Safe
In the past few years, we’ve seen the world make Waves of Progress for ocean conservation, including large corporations opt for paper or pasta straws, fashion industries create products out of marine debris, and inventors develop tools to clean our oceans at a faster rate! These past few years have been exciting for Center’s like ours, but we know the next few years will make an even bigger difference. In 2020, we invite you to continue to help us keep the momentum going by participating in our education and conservation initiatives, especially our monthly beach cleanups. In 2019, we removed over 4,579 pounds of marine debris from our local waterways and coastlines. Because of you, we are able to help keep our beaches sea-turtle-safe for sea turtle nesting and hatching season. This year, we hope you continue to help us protect our fellow residents, the sea turtles as we prepare for another successful nesting season. 

Our beach clean ups take place one Saturday each month, please join us at our next Beach Cleanup.

Hike2O: Creating Educational Programming For All 
As we grow, our team members continue to develop educational opportunities to engage community members near and far. I am proud to introduce to you LMC’s first event of it’s kind – Hike2O event, held Friday, January 24th to Saturday, January 26th. During this unique three-day, two-night backcountry benefit, hiking-guests will join trail experts from LMC and the Florida Trail Association – Loxahatcee Chapter on sections of the Ocean to Lake Trail. Our team designed this event to open up discussions regarding water quality and conservation of natural ecosystems. With the help of participants, all proceeds will directly help fund education-for-all programming in South Florida. We invite you to help us raise awareness for water conservation by:

  • Participating as a hiker in this event in-person or 
  • Hosting your own symbolic virtual hike

New Sea Turtle Patients: Turbo and Jane
Recently, we received two new patients, Turbo and Jane, who required our state-of-the-art care. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to have to acquire the support of FPL and The Royal Poinciana Plaza to help provide care for these sea turtles. 

Turbo, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle patient, was unintentionally hooked at the Juno Beach Pier. However, through our Responsible Pier Initiative, anglers helped rescue this beautiful sea turtle. Upon arriving to our Center’s sea turtle hospital, the hook was removed from the patient’s mouth and radiographs revealed an intestinal impaction. Thanks to your support and the support of FPL, Turbo will recover at our Center. To check-in on Turbo, please visit our Center’s 24-hour live sea turtle webcam powered by FPL.

Jane, an adult female Kemp’s ridley sea turtle patient, was found at FPL’s St. Lucie site. The turtle arrived with shark bite injuries to its left front flipper, head, and plastron. Thanks to your support and the support of The Royal Poinciana Plaza, Jane is receiving antibiotics and continues to heal. 

In honor of LMC and The Royal’s shared values surrounding women empowerment and preservation of South Florida, The Royal named this special patient Jane in honor of Lillian Jane Volk, a powerful female woven through the history of The Royal. 

Construction Cam: Making Waves of Progress: 
In the last decade, supporters and conservationists helped discussions of ocean conservation enter the mainstream. In the next decade, those trailblazers will help explore, discover, and innovate new solutions to help us protect our blue planet. 

Since the kick off of our expansion campaign, a massive shift in Florida’s water quality has occurred. As the Center is a working sea turtle hospital, our patients can not be exposed to bacteria filled water or be stressed by toxic blue green algae or red tide. Our Center has worked with world renowned experts to blueprint and deploy the next generation of our hospital sea water system for our patients; a system that ensures our patients have high-quality, clean, salt water regardless of environmental conditions.

This system is critical to LMC’s operation and continued progress, but we need your help. Because water quality is rapidly changing, we have had to accelerate the deployment of this system. With your help, we can implement the new system helping preserve our conservation and education impact, here in Florida and across our beautiful blue planet. 

The time to invest in sea turtle and ocean conservation is now, together we can leave a legacy of ocean and sea turtle conservation for future generations. Our Waves of Progress expansion is progressing with great speed and you can follow our construction progress

If you have supported our expansion campaign, we thank you, if you would like to join our campaign family, we would be honored if you would make a tax-deductible gift to our Center’s future today by visiting this link:

On behalf of our staff, volunteers, and our Board of Directors, I thank you for your support – you are helping us increase our impact. 

We look forward to visiting with you on campus soon.

With Gratitude,
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO


Mark Your Calendar

Blue Friends Society Beach Cleanup
Mark your calendars for another Blue Friends Society beach cleanup on Saturday, January 18! Many thanks to our sponsor for this month’s beach cleanup – Oceanview Private Wealth. Thank you also to our breakfast sponsors-Dunkin’ Juno Beach, and Oceana Coffee – Tequesta. Thank you for continuing to keep us fueled while we keep our beaches clean! See you at 8:30 a.m. on the back deck of LMC!
Let us know you are joining by emailing bluefriends@marinelife.org

Calling all Shoppers

Every January, each Bloomingdale’s store in the state of Florida selects a charity closely connected to its community to honor and elevate awareness for its cause. In celebration of this partnership, Bloomingdale’s will make a $5,000 donation to LMC! We encourage you to support their shopping event from January 23-26 at the Palm Beach Gardens location in The Gardens Mall. Shop for a cause!

Introducing the Inaugural Hike2O

Get excited as we introduce the Inaugural Hike2O in partnership with the Florida Trail Association – Loxahatchee Chapter! Registered participants will hike approximately 30 miles, over three days, on the Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail, which spans across Martin and Palm Beach Counties. Hike it forward and sign up with LMC!

What: A 3-day, 2-night backcountry hiking benefit 
When: January 24-26, 2020 
Where: Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail
Who: Adults 18+ with backpacking experience 
(virtual day hiker registration alternative option) 
Cost: $125 full event hiker; $65 virtual day hiker 

Not able to attend? Supporters can still make an impact by registering as a Hike2O Virtual Hiker. Upon registration, virtual hikers are encouraged to complete 5 miles or more to help raise awareness involving our environmental assets of Florida’s important waterways. Each virtual participant will receive a participation packet, recognition on the participant roster, complimentary swag, and a Hike2O Virtual Hiker completion pin. 


Come SWIM with LMC

We make travel look and do good.

With Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s (LMC) growing connections with conservation organizations worldwide, it has become clear that there are many of these organizations that would benefit tremendously from additional volunteer and financial support. One of the biggest challenges of conservation education is finding creative and engaging ways to spread awareness of the global challenges facing our world ocean.

Experience a unique vacation like never before. While our eco tours are crafted around the needs of each conservation organization, they are also catered to deliver the best and most unique experience.

2020 Dates: 
Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands: June 29 – July 3, 2020
Juno Beach, Florida: July 20 – 24, 2020

To learn more or register, please visit: marinelife.org/swim


What’s New in Rehab?

Our turtle patients arrive to the hospital at LMC with various types of injuries and illnesses. One of the more common, naturally occurring injuries we see are predator-induced injuries. These may occur in all size and age classes of sea turtles. The ones we can most readily identify are typically caused by marine mammals or sharks, but they can be caused by many other predators, as well.

Marine mammals such as dolphin have been observed to mouth juvenile turtles and toss them out of the water in what is apparently an act of play. These types of injuries can be identified by the tooth patterns and scrape marks on the carapace and plastron of the patients. Unlike the dolphins, some sharks may prey on the turtles as a source of food. Sea turtles have been observed in the ocean defending themselves against the sharks by keeping their carapace turned toward the predator. This makes them appear bigger, and it is more difficult for the shark to bite down and grab the turtle from the boney carapace.

Wounds caused by sharks are identified by the bite patterns, and sometimes even broken off teeth are found imbedded within the wounded area. We are unable to determine the species of shark that caused the injuries unless a tooth is found. The hospital currently has a female (determined by an ultrasound exam- see photo) sub-adult Kemp’s ridley patient named Jane that sustained shark bite injuries. Another patient, Moose, a juvenile green sea turtle, was admitted with predator-induced trauma of unknown origin. Predator related injuries are typically treated by hospital staff with topical honey treatments, systemic antibiotics, routine wound debridement, pain management, and cold laser therapy to quicken the healing process. Come visit Jane and Moose in our outdoor hospital and follow their healing processes at marinelife.org/jane and marinelife.org/moose.


Conservation Corner

The Bank of America Mobile Sorting Station Hits the Road!

In December, LMC officially launched our Mobile Marine Debris Sorting Station sponsored by Bank of America. This Mobile Sorting Station will help us to expand our conservation efforts in Palm Beach County and beyond!

Through this Mobile Sorting Station, the conservation department will expand beach cleanup initiatives, build our marine debris database and educate the public by highlighting the types and quantities of debris being found on our beaches while teaching them what they can do to help. 

2019 Monofilament Recycling Results

As the FWC Monofilament Recovery and Recycling program coordinators for Palm Beach County, Loggerhead Marinelife is responsible for emptying the County’s monofilament bins and shipping the clean line for recycling.

In 2019, Loggerhead Marinelife Center and RPI partner organizations recycled over 312.25 MILES of monofilament- enough to stretch from Juno Beach to the state of Georgia.


2019 Nesting Season Fast Facts

First Leatherback Nest: March 7
Last Leatherback Nest: July 28
Most nests in a single night (7): May 3
Average number of eggs per nest: 79
All 187 nests were marked for evaluation.

First Loggerhead Nest: April 12
Last Loggerhead Nest: August 30
Most Nests in a single night (375): June 30
Average number of eggs per nest: 105
35,844 total crawls were recorded.

First Green Nest: May 9
Last Green Nest: October 29
Most nests in a single night (176): July 19
Average number of eggs per nest: 113
22 nests were predated.


JMB Summer Camp registration goes LIVE February 1st at 10am with Early Bird Pricing!

Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s summer camp programs are interactive, educational and stimulating. Each camp is geared towards children ages 6* through 17. Students participating in the Jr. Marine Biologist summer camp program will gain an understanding of various nature-related topics such as (but not limited to) ecology and marine biology, with an emphasis on conservation. 

Camp hours are Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Extended hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) is available for an additional fee. *children must be 6 years old by the date of their camp enrollment AND have already attended kindergarten.

**Early Bird Pricing until February 29, 2019**

For dates, pricing and registration please visit marinelife.org/summer-camp


Adoption Spotlight

It’s a new year and we have new sea turtle patients up for adoption! Thanks to the generosity of our longtime corporate partner, Florida Power & Light, one of our new sea turtle patients available for adoption is Turbo! Turbo is named in honor of this year’s Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon presenting sponsor, Manatee Lagoon-An FPL Eco-Discovery Center®.

The Royal Poinciana, another valued partner of LMC, has named one of our patients Jane, in honor of Lillian Jane Volk, a powerful female figure who played an instrumental role in the history of The Royal. We are thankful for these partnerships and hope you enjoy these sea turtle stories!


Volunteer Spotlight

Hailie is a Saturday morning Education Docent who continually seeks out opportunities to engage with guests, educate the public, and offer assistance around campus. Even as she is balancing the commitments she has to her education and extracurricular activities, she still finds time to spend part of her weekend with us.

Hailie is always happy to facilitate programs (even birthday parties!), and remains flexible and positive toward all changes that happen here at LMC. She continues to show her dedication and desire to make an impact all while keeping a smile on her face and being inclusive to any guest, new volunteer, or staff member around her!


Mascot Corner: Problem or Solution?

Hello Friends,
Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot.  It’s hard to believe that 2019 has come and gone and we are starting a new decade.  It’s 2020 and some things have gotten better since 2010 (cell phones are smaller and more powerful) and some things have gotten worse (trash in my ocean home, lots and lots of trash, mostly plastic in all shapes and sizes).

On New Year’s morning, I was reading the Ocean Gazette on my shell phone and came across two very interesting articles.  The first headline read “The Oceans Deadliest Predator, Who Am I?” Much to my surprise it was not a great white shark or a killer whale. It was a plastic bag floating in my ocean home. Yes, sea turtles will eat a plastic bag thinking its food, a yummy jellyfish, then gets sick and sometimes die. Today, plastic bags can be found in all oceans of the world. It’s a big problem.

The other article was a “Letter to the Editor” from my good friend Tommy C. Turtle.  I would like to share his thoughts with you: 

To: The Human Race,
Millions and even thousands of years ago, my ocean home was “Clean and Blue, Trash Free.” It wasn’t until humans arrived that trash started to show up in my neighborhood. First, it was just pottery and straw baskets that started to rain down from above. That wasn’t too bad, they would biodegrade and disappear over time. Then in recent times something called “plastic” (bags, toys, bottles, beverage rings, plates, cups, cans, beads, etc.) started to appear in all shapes and sizes. These plastic items don’t biodegrade, they photo degrade and last forever. My ocean home is now a giant garbage patch full of plastic in all shapes and sizes. Big pieces, small pieces and microscopic pieces, so small you can hardly see them. The plastic causes a lot of problems for marine life, especially sea turtles, since a plastic bag looks a lot like food, a yummy in my tummy jellyfish. We eat it, get sick and sometimes die. So, please stop trashing my ocean home, we don’t trash yours. Instead, let’s work together to clean up the ocean. There is a lot of work to do, so what are you waiting for, let’s get started!

Yours Tur-te-ly,
Tommy C. Turtle

Nice job Tommy, telling it like it is “Trash in our ocean home.”  Native Americans have a saying about Mother Earth: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Humans have the power of choice to be either the problem or the solution, to this very important issue “Trash in our ocean home.”  We can only hope YOU make the choice to keep our ocean home: “Clean and Blue, Trash Free.” 

You can start, by taking the “Marinelife Guardian Pledge” and live its principles as part of your daily life style:

I PLEDGE to reduce, reuse, recycle,
respect the environment, never
trash it and cleanup where others
have trashed it.

Now, share the pledge with family, friends, co-workers, teachers and classmates.  Protecting the ocean is OUR responsibility.  We borrowed it from our children.  Let’s give it back “Clean and Blue, Trash Free!

As Tommy C. Turtle said: “There is a lot of work to do, so what are you waiting for, let’s get started!”


Shop Where it Counts

How much more tropical can you get than a coconut bowl? This bowl is 100% natural from real coconuts discarded as waste and handcrafted by rural artisans.

Sanded smooth inside and out for a polished appearance, each coconut bowl is unique with it’s own shape, colors and markings.

With every use you save a coconut, help the environment and support rural craftspeople.


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.


Thank You To Our Outstanding Supporters!

Moving and Removing our Marine Debris 

On December 12, LMC unveiled its new Bank of America Mobile Sorting Station during the Merrill Palm Beach Town Hall Meeting. Bank of America has been extremely supportive of LMC’s conservation initiatives that are hyper-focused on marine debris removal and pollution prevention efforts. LMC and its conservation team look forward to taking the Bank of America Mobile Sorting Station on the road to educate the public on the importance of ocean conservation and cleaning up our beaches!

We Squeezed the Day at Beach Bash Palm Beach

On Saturday, December 28, LMC held its juiciest event of the year, Beach Bash Palm Beach, in partnership with its longtime corporate partner, Lilly Pulitzer. The theme of the event this year was “Squeeze the Day” and the decor followed suit! From lush citrus trees to Lilly’s iconic juice stand, guests wore their brightest Lilly attire and danced the night away to help benefit The Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Thank you to all of our generous sponsors and guests who attended this event!!

LMC and Dunkin’: The Perfect Blend 

Bottomless thanks to our partners at Dunkin’ Juno Beach! LMC was the recipient of a $1,000 donation from Dunkin’ in December, in celebration of their grand reopening of the Juno Beach location. 

A special thank you to Kohl’s National Giving Program! In December, LMC was a recipient of a $10,000 grant from Kohl’s Cares. The support of this grant will help LMC to continue to increase its global education and conservation impact. 

Over the holidays, LMC hosted Chasentailz Foundation’s Kids Fishing Tournament on the Juno Beach Pier. The event provided a high quality experience for children and their families to enjoy fishing as well as giving back to the community. Families enjoyed meeting local Captains, winning prizes and trophies, and enjoying breakfast on the pier. LMC looks forward to making this an annual event with Chasentailz.