Open daily from 10AM to 5PM

June 2019 Newsletter

CEO Chatter with Jack E. Lighton

Jack Lighton

Dear Friend Of LMC,
Run 4 The Sea – Celebrating World Ocean’s Month: Happy World Ocean’s Month from all of us at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC)!  During this special month of conservation education and celebration, we are excited to host our 8th annual Run 4 The Sea this Saturday, June 15, and we hope you will join us as a runner/walker in-person, or if you prefer, you can join us as a symbolic ‘virtual runner!’ Run 4 The Sea is a wonderful run along Juno Beach’s beautiful coastline. This wonderful event is a celebration of sea turtle nesting season and offers an educational reminder to our community to please help us keep our beaches cleaner and darker during nesting season.  Cleaner / darker beaches encourage female sea turtle ‘moms’ to nest, and cleaner / darker beaches increase the odds of survival for the adorable hatchlings.  Did you know that the beach LMC monitors and protects is one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches on our planet?  For more information about our 8th Annual Run 4 The Sea presented by Downtown At The Gardens, please visit: marinelife.org/run

Fun Fact: Downtown At The Gardens is helping LMC Celebrate World Ocean’s Month – for the entire month of June!  Do you want to dine with our mascot “Fletch?”  How about enjoy a fun and educational art class designed for your little human ‘hatchling?’  Click HERE to learn more about this wonderful community partnership:

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Update: The three (3) sea turtle species that nest on our local beaches (leatherbacks, loggerheads and greens) nest in high and low annual cycles.  2019 marks a fascinating year, as our scientific analysis forecasts that all three species will nest in a higher than normal pattern this year.  What does that mean? We are likely to see upward of 19,000 nests on our beach this season!  To compare this year’s nest forecast it is important to point out that in 2018 we had 11,812 nests on our beach.  Please check back with us at the end of October when sea turtle nesting season concludes to find out the total number of nests our team is tasked with monitoring and protecting! Are you interested in helping support our sea turtle research program?  Please consider adopting a sea turtle nest for yourself or as a gift here: marinelife.org/adopt

Sea turtle nesting counts to-date are well over 6,500 nests!  For more information about our nesting season, please click here: marinelife.org/research

Father’s Day – Sea Turtle Adoptions are the Perfect Gift: As we get ready to celebrate all the wonderful Dad’s out there, please consider a sea turtle adoption for your Dad and the father figures in your life.  Sea turtle adoptions make great gifts and allow you and your Dad to be a part of the team helping to rehabilitate and release our patients.  For more information about our special Father’s Day sea turtle adoptions, please visit our website: marinelife.org/adopt Pro tip: Adoptions can be picked up on our campus, sent to your home, sent to recipients, and electronic certificates can be sent to your special person very quickly, making this a perfect gift for today’s busy and fast-paced lifestyle.

Special Summertime Programs – Sleepovers: Are you looking for some FUN activities for your family during summertime? How about a ‘night at the museum’ inspired sleepover?  LMC’s sleepovers offer a lot of fun, interactive, and educational opportunities, AND did someone say pizza?! LMC’s Sea Turtle Sleepover is an exclusive nighttime program that offers a tour of our Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, activities for your aspiring scientist, movie time, snacks and pizza, and concludes with a little shuteye amongst our aquariums! Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks and beverages, but we kindly request that all beverages be brought to our campus in reusable containers.  This request is made to help LMC, our students, and our guests reduce our environmental impact. We love to say, #PlasticFreeWithLMC! For more information about our sleepover program, please visit: marinelife.org/sleepover

As you look for fun activities to enjoy this summer, we encourage you to visit with us here at the Sea Turtle Hospital at LMC.  From evolving daily activities, to kind and knowledgeable staff and volunteers who can share with you our patient’s rehabilitation journey, we have so much to SEA and do.  In addition to visiting The Sea Turtle Hospital, please consider visiting our other campuses: The Juno Beach Pier, a beautiful 990-foot pier just north of our Center. LMC has operated this iconic North Palm Beach County destination since 2014.  Visit the re-imagined Pier House for snacks, angling items, and great items which are branded for the pier! Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco Discovery Center in West Palm Beach:  Lots of fun, free summertime programs are being offered, and the beautiful campus offers a stunning park-like setting with a board walk and majestic views of the intracoastal Waterway.

Waves Of Progress Capital Expansion Update: LMC is honored to work with the community to build our new campus. While our construction kicked off, our fundraising is not yet complete. Guests to Loggerhead Park will continue to see progress being made on our construction site, however, we are pleased to report that our construction will not impact our daily operations! Please consider becoming involved in our capital campaign, from custom inscribed brick pavers, to transformational ocean conservation educational exhibits and classrooms, we have beautiful opportunities for our supporters to help us accelerate and amplify our conservation and education impact here in Florida and around our beautiful blue planet.  For more information about our campaign, please visit: marinelife.org/capital

We wish you and yours a safe, happy and fun summertime, and we look forward to visiting with you on campus soon.  Thank you for your support of our mission.

With Gratitude,
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO


8th Annual Run 4 The Sea – June 15, 2019
Presented by Downtown at the Gardens

Enjoy running along scenic A1A at the 8th Annual Run 4 The Sea and support Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s mission of sea turtle and ocean conservation! This timed four-mile race begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, and is open to runners and walkers.

Race participants are invited to stay and enjoy the post-race celebration with breakfast, vendors, kids’ activities, a D.J. and the awards announcement. Awards are presented to the top overall male and female, master male and female and top three male and female in 13 age groups. Runner Gift Bags and Finisher medals are given to ALL participants.
Cost – $45 (includes a sport style participant t-shirt and custom finisher medal)

1-Mile Kids Fun Run: will immediately follow the four-mile race at 8:15 a.m. Parents can cheer their child on from the finish line or run with their child at no additional registration fee.
Cost: $20 (includes a child’s t-shirt and medal)

Virtual Run: Can’t make it to Run 4 the Sea 2019? You can still support LMC and earn a race medal and t-shirt by participating as a virtual runner – plus, you’re given the flexibility to run anywhere at any time you desire. There are no age limits or restrictions on how you clock your virtual four-mile run! You do not have to submit your time, but please feel free to share a photo on LMC’s Facebook event page. Medals and t-shirts will be mailed in July to all virtual run participants.
Cost – $40; (includes a sport style participant t-shirt and custom finisher medal).


We can’t wait to welcome you to Downtown At The Gardens – Join us for a monthlong celebration


What’s New in Rehab?

This past month, the hospital staff received and responded to a large number of calls on our stranding hotline. The hospital team monitors the stranding hotline 24/7 and will respond at any hour of the day. We respond to both alive and deceased strandings. All live stranded turtles (except leatherbacks) are brought back to the hospital and stabilized before diagnostics, such as radiographs and bloodwork are performed.  During a deceased stranding response, hospital staff and volunteers will collect data, such as measurements and photos of the turtle before burying or salvaging the animal. Typically, when we receive a call about a turtle that needs to be rescued or salvaged, the hospital staff calls on our volunteer group to help respond and then gathers several necessary pieces of equipment, like a transportation board, rope, towels, tape measurers and a PIT tag reader. We rely on our volunteers as part of our stranding response team.

Due to the high number of adult sea turtles currently in the area during the mating and nesting season, we have seen an increase in the amount of injured stranded adult turtles. One of these strandings was a disoriented adult female leatherback that was found on a sandbar in the Loxahatchee River with a large hook in her shoulder. This leatherback was relocated back out into the ocean, and fortunately has not restranded. Unfortunately, many of the other stranded turtles that we have responded to were hit by boats. Often, these turtles do not survive due to the severity of their injuries. We do have a current patient named Hulk, that is an adult male green that has several propeller strikes to the carapace. Hulk is being treated with negative pressure wound therapy as well as injectable antibiotics. He is recovering well but still has a guarded prognosis due to the extent of his injuries. Other frequent calls we have been receiving are about mating green turtle pairs in the surf. These pairs often look like floating injured turtles, and typically no mobile response is necessary. If you are interested in following Hulk’s progress or any of the other patients in our care, check out marinelife.org/hulk.


Conservation Corner

On May 21 and 22, LMC’s Conservation Department attended  the Florida Marine Debris Reduction Workshop hosted by NOAA  in Dania Beach, FL. Workshop attendees included leaders from state agencies, universities, NGO’s and other organizations with the goal of developing a comprehensive, statewide action plan to reduce and prevent marine debris in Florida.

Following the workshop, representatives from NOAA visited LMC’s campus to see our marine debris conservation initiatives first-hand, including LMC’s Marine Debris Sorting Station – the first of its kind- funded by Bank of America.

Every month, following each Blue Friend’s Society, underwater, and private beach cleanup, Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Conservation Department sorts and records each piece of debris removed from the beach.

In May 2019, six beach cleanups were evaluated, with 23,689  pieces of debris removed from Florida beaches. Data shows that over 89.5% of debris collected in May was made of plastic.

The strangest item found this month was a couch.



Research Update

Green sea turtles typically begin nesting in mid to late May each season. This year, our research team recorded our first green turtle nest on May 9, which is a bit early!  This is the second earliest green turtle nest recorded in recent years (in 2015, we recorded our first green turtle nest on May 8).  We are anticipating a high green turtle nesting year, as they follow a biennial trend and last year was considered a low year. With the arrival of the green turtles, comes the end of leatherback nesting season.  By the close of May, the leatherbacks will begin to migrate northward to forage and rest after their nesting season.


Hatchling Release and Sunrise Nest Excavation 
Registration open!

The Hatchling Release program at Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a unique experience that allows our visitors to learn about sea turtles and the nesting and hatching process. The program begins with an after-hours experience to view our current patients in LMC’s Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, followed by a presentation and ends with a trip to the beach to see LMC staff release sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean.
Cost: $18/nonmembers; $16/members
Ages: 8+
Time: Daily in August at 8 p.m.

The Sunrise Nest Excavation program is a unique opportunity for Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) educators to give the public insight into LMC’s research department. With permission from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a permitted staff member will lead guests down onto Juno 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 excavation and create their own data sheets to take home as a memento.
Cost: $18/nonmembers; $16/members
Ages: 8+
Time: August – September, Wednesdays – Sundays at 7 a.m


Knowledge is Power!

Join us for a Sleepover
Our Sea Turtle Sleepover is an exclusive nighttime program that offers a tour of LMC’s Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, activities for your aspiring scientist, movie time, snacks and pizza, and concludes with a little shuteye amongst our aquariums! You are welcome to bring your own snacks and beverages, but we request that all beverages be in reusable containers.

What to Expect

  • Bioluminescence Lab in our Outdoor Learning Lab
  • Tour to meet LMC’s sea turtle patients and scavenger hunt
  • Pizza, snacks and a light breakfast
  • Ocean-themed movie

Ages:  8-12
Cost: $65/child
Time: 7 p.m. – 8 a.m.

Florida Master Naturalist Program
Coastal Systems Core Module
Select days July 9-August 6, 2019

Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Coastal Systems in Florida – Coastal Uplands, Estuarine, and Nearshore Marine Environments. The program also addresses society’s role in coastal areas, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics.
Student Spaces Available!

Instructors: Hannah Campbell, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Chris Lockhart, Habitat Specialists, Inc., Molly Sims, FMNP; Becca Dougherty, PBC ERM

Guest speakers from: Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management(ERM), University of Florida (UF), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and Ecological Associates, Inc. (EAI)

Cost: Starting at $175/person; 40 course hours; all materials included.

Includes: Student manual, presentations, guided field trips, Florida Master Naturalist graduation certificate, patch and pin

Topics: Marine & estuarine habitats, invertebrates & coastal birds, mammals, amphibians/reptiles, saltwater fish identification

For more information, contact hcampbell@marinelife.org.

View agenda and register online at: masternaturalist.org


Adoption Spotlight

Don’t forget our Adopt-a Nest program is back! For the Months of March-October, you can adopt a loggerhead, green and leatherback nest. When nesting season ends, adoptees will be emailed an update on their nest! Our researchers have already recorded over 6,400 nests this year. Be sure to support and adopt a nest today!


Volunteer Spotlight

This month, we would like to recognize an exceptional volunteer who has dedicated over 550 hours of her time to LMC since December 2016. Margie Fretz is our Volunteer of the Month.

Margie has averaged nearly 40 hours per month throughout 2019. She volunteers three days per week in our Conservation, Education and Guest Services Departments. Margie rarely misses a shift and is always ready to jump in and help wherever needed. Her flexibility, kindness and sense of humor make her an ideal addition to all three of her volunteer assignments.

We are so lucky to have you on our team, Margie. Thank you for your dedication to sea turtle and ocean conservation!


Mascot Corner: School’s Out for Summer!!

Hello Friends,

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot.  Yes, school’s out for summer, and the weather in Florida is beautiful, “hot and sunny,” the perfect ingredients for a swim to cool off. But did you know that 10 people die every day from drowning, and two are children aged 14 or younger.  Yes, a sea turtle knows how to swim at birth, but for humans, it’s a learned skill. That’s where my friend “Buddy the Seahorse” can help. Buddy is the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County’s mascot. A seahorse mates for life (so they are always with a buddy), and they aren’t great swimmers (hence Buddy wears a life jacket).

Buddy’s and Fletch’s wish for all humans: “No drownings or near drowning on any day of the year.”  So, here are a few tips to be Water Safe and Water Smart:

  • Learn to swim
  • Teach kids survival swimming skills at an early age
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Constant adult supervision when children are in or around water (Swimming lessons and life jackets do not replace supervision.  Drowning is swift and silent.)
  • Do not drink alcohol before or while supervising children that are in or around water
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved, well fitting life jacket if you are not a strong swimmer
  • Air-filled or foam toys are not water safety devices
  • All pools should have a safety reaching device
  • Phone near the pool (seconds count in an emergency)
  • Clear the pool and pool deck of toys, when not in use
  • Pool perimeter fencing
  • Pool cover and pool alarm
  • Pool access doors are locked with door alarm
  • Learn CPR  (seconds count in an emergency)
  • Set and enforce water safety rules for the entire family
  • At the beach, swim in a lifeguard-protected area, and
  • Don’t forget to apply reef safe sunscreen before swimming in the ocean

On a different subject, please join Fletch and Hamilton R. Head on Saturday morning, June 15, 2019  for the “2019 Run 4 The Sea.” Hamilton is the mascot for the Jupiter Hammerhead baseball team, a farm club of the Miami Marlins.  The four-mile run (or walk) starts at 7 a.m., and the Kids one-mile fun run starts at 8:15 a.m. Race participants are invited to stay and enjoy the post-race celebration with breakfast, vendors, kids’ activities, a D.J. and the awards announcement.

See you all on June 15 at “Run 4 The Sea.”  Have a safe and fun-filled summer!!!


Hope the Sea Turtle

Anna (“Annie”) Hernandez, a senior at Jupiter High School and graduate of LMC’s Marine Science Academy, created a sea turtle sculpture (which she named Hope) out of plastic from the local, national and international community in an effort to bring awareness to plastic pollution. 

Annie created “Hope” as part of her senior project for the environmental magnet program she is a part of. Over one third of the plastic she collected came from Jupiter High School. Annie meticulously counted every single piece of debris she collected and logged the location where each was found, the class of the debris, the date, etc. 

“Hope” the sea turtle sculpture will be displayed at Loggerhead Marinelife Center during the month of June. Annie’s hope is that the sculpture will promote awareness of plastic pollution, possibly inspiring her peers and others to make a change and shrink their plastic footprint.


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.


Shop Where it Counts

Show dad you care by stopping by our gift store and buying him Cayman Islands Spyce Men’s Cologne this Father’s Day! A seaborne fragrance combined with soft oils. You can use as a remarkably refreshing cologne or as a splash after bathing. Cayman Island’s Spyce is derived from the finest fragrance and essential oils.


Thank You To Our Outstanding Supporters!

Thank you to Samantha Bell for her creative conservation impact! She collected old t-shirts from her friends and turned them into reusable shopping bags as part of her CAS experience. She donated them to Loggerhead for our volunteers to have. She’s been to the Center several times on field trips and for summer camp and is currently writing a paper on plastic pollution in the ocean.

Special thank you to Danielle Seddon and Soleil Demers who raised over $30 for LMC by selling slime and homemade perfume. We are so happy and grateful you are helping us in our mission!

Thank you to Change Your Latitude for donating their booth sale proceeds of $340 from the Palm Beach International Boat Show. Change Your Latitude is an apparel and accessories line for men and women. Each item offered is inspired by the journal entries of lifelong traveler named Jack Tanner. Change Your Latitude celebrates nature, the outdoors and the richness that a life of travel can bring.

Thank you to our Blue Friends Society June Beach Cleanup Sponsor: RBC Wealth Management