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November 2019 Newsletter

CEO Chatter with Jack E. Lighton

Jack Lighton

Dear Friend of LMC, 

It is my pleasure to welcome you to our special November edition of our monthly newsletter! In this newsletter, we will celebrate some amazing milestones and focus in on exciting BLUE opportunities that will help us kick off the festive Holiday Season together!

Go Blue Awards Luncheon Recap:
Recently LMC was honored to host our 11th Annual Go Blue Awards Luncheon.  This luncheon is one of the largest platforms upon which sea turtle and ocean conservation thought leaders from around the world are recognized for their amazing accomplishments. Hosted at the beautiful Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, our luncheon was again sold out with 700 guests.

We welcomed National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, Dr. Robert Ballard, as a keynote speaker at our Go Blue Awards Luncheon. Dr. Ballard inspired younger generations to take action to create Waves of Progress and change the tide on ocean conservation. Dr. Ballard shared with guests his exciting journeys and many ocean explorations, from discovering deep ocean hydrothermal vents to some of the most mysterious shipwrecks in the world. Additionally, attendees walked through his ongoing roadmap of his “Expedition Amelia” mission, which is designed to find and confirm the wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s aircraft. Shortly thereafter, Ballard unearthed his team’s upcoming expedition titled the “next chapter,” a mission designed to explore and map the United States coastlines and oceans. This mission will help create the most robust and technically advanced understanding of our oceans and ecosystems with a goal to preserve these resources for the future. At the ceremony, we celebrated ocean heroes spanning all ages and industries. As Dr. Ballard noted, we are eager to see the explorations, discoveries, and innovations that the next wave of ocean heroes create! 

One of Dr. Ballard’s statements at our event that resonated with our guests was, “I’ve been all over the world and an animal that will always stop me in my tracks is a sea turtle. If we lose these creatures, we will be the ones responsible for that. Young people need to be bonded to the ocean and there is no better ‘vehicle’ to bond children to the ocean other than the sea turtle.” 

Your support helps our team of passionate staff and volunteers to bond the hearts and eager young minds of our guests to the ocean through the bond we create with them and our sea turtle patients.  With your support, we will create more life-long ocean and sea turtle champions.

We thank this year’s Go Blue Awards Luncheon presenting sponsor, Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco Discovery Center.  For highlights from this year’s Go Blue Awards Luncheon including a list of this year’s award winners, please visit our Go Blue Awards Luncheon web link:

2019 sea turtle nesting season – one for the record books:
LMC’s research laboratory monitors and protects one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches on our planet.  During the 2019 sea turtle nesting and hatching season, our staff and volunteers were able to create more Waves of Progress in sea turtle conservation! LMC’s biologists recorded 20,998 total nests. The specific sea turtle species counts are as follows:

  • 187 leatherbacks
  • 7,411 green sea turtles
  • 13,400 loggerhead nests

As of October 31st, sea turtle nesting season has officially concluded, however hatchlings will continue to hatch out through the end of the year so please follow sea turtle-safe protocols by keeping our beaches clean and dark all year round. 

Our sea turtle hospital welcomed a huge amount of babies!
Over 1,000 hatchling and post-hatchling sea turtles were welcomed into our sea turtle hospital keeping our dedicated team of staff and volunteers busy around the clock.

This year, our Center received an influx of hatchlings due to a record-breaking nesting season and, as a result, of the storms that grazed our coastline. 

Sea turtle hatchling releases – providing a second chance
In the month of September and October, LMC released over 550 hatchlings and post-hatchlings during off-shore releases. One very special off-shore sea turtle hatchling release was conducted in partnership with our 2019 Go Blue Awards Blue Business of the Year winners, 4ocean!  Together with 4ocean we released 242 sea turtles off-shore into the sargasso sea and after the release we spent time working with our partners to conduct an ocean-cleanup!

As we head into the holiday season – celebrate by going blue!
This holiday season, we ask you to continue to “Go Blue,” by participating in LMC’s conservation efforts and events, such as:

  • “No Straw November,” 
  • Hog Snappers Give Back Sunday Brunches in November, 
  • LMC’s very popular Blue Friday campus event, 
  • Beach Bash Palm Beach (Lilly Pulitzers’ not to be missed Palm Beach Party)

After your Thanksgiving meal – join us on Blue Friday!
LMC’s super popular Blue Friday campus event returns this year, better than ever, on Friday, November 29th. Our Blue Friday event asks local and global guests to opt out of society’s traditional “Black Friday” events and opt in to sustainable and eco-friendly activities, such as a beach cleanup, e-card photo booth, and education activities promoting sustainable holiday wrapping options. 

Each year, it’s estimated that Americans discard 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of the year. Unfortunately, the extra waste is estimated to produce an additional 25 million tons of garbage. During this holiday season, we ask you to join us in reducing your use of single-use plastics, say no to straws or opt for reusable straws, and celebrate the holiday season with our Blue Table founding partners (LINK). If each of us make many small changes, together we will create massive impact.

Our expanded campus – the gateway to create more ocean and sea turtle heroes: To ensure we provide the next generation with unique and innovative ways to advocate for sea turtles and our planet, we have begun to expand our campus; please stay up-to-date with the progress of our expansion through our live construction cam! 

Although construction is underway, we still need your help to increase our needed fundraising.  Please help us increase the awareness of our campaign so we can:

  • Treat more than double the number of patients we serve annually
  • Deploy over six-times the amount of educational space
  • Implement a state-of-the-art hospital clean water system
  • Expand upon our global conservation partnerships and efforts

Please consider creating an ocean-inspired legacy by gifting to our campaign, the wind is at our backs and the time to act is now.  

On behalf of our incredible team of staff, volunteers, and supporters, I want to personally thank you for your passion and interest in our mission. As we set our sights on 2020, we look forward to continuing to create Waves of Progress and a long-lasting legacy of ocean conservation with you. As Dr. Ballard noted in his keynote address, “our oceans are time capsules waiting for the next generation to explore them.” With your continued support, we will keep our planet healthy and blue and we will inspire the next wave of eco-advocates who will explore, innovate, and discover new ways to protect our sea turtles and their ocean home. 

Thank you for your support of our mission and vision; I look forward to visiting with you soon on our campus or in our community! 

With Gratitude,
Jack E. Lighton
President & CEO


Mark Your Calendars

Join us tonight at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa for the unveiling of the Artist Paddleboard Series. Meet the talented artists – Donald Robertson, Lulu DK, and Nick Mele who created the beautiful and unique paddleboards for this special event. Bid on these paddleboards during the silent auction with proceeds benefiting Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres will be served.
Date: Thursday, November 7
Time: 5:30-7:30 pm
Location: Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, 100 South Ocean Blvd, Manalapan, FL 33462

Go Blue on Black Friday!Friday, November 29
Looking for a fun, free, family-friendly alternative to Black Friday? Come celebrate Black Friday the BLUE way and enjoy free programming, crafts and marine conservation education from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come explore our Blue-topia and learn fun ways to respect and give back to the environment. Families can enjoy our Responsible Wrapping Station, Kids Upcycling Craft Area, and an eCard Photo Booth! This event won’t be one to miss, so mark your calendars for this fun and festive event!

Ways to Give this Holiday Season!
Small Business SaturdayNovember 30 Visit our gift store and support small local businesses! Cyber Monday – December 2
– Free Shipping on our online store
– 20% off all online adoptions
– 10% off brick pavers
Giving Tuesday – December 3
Support LMC by making an online donation, purchasing an adoption or supporting our Waves of Progress campaign!

Beach Bash Palm Beach: Shop & Share – December 7
Pick out your best Beach Bash outfit at the Lilly Pulitzer Shop & Share on December 7 in three locations, The Gardens Mall, Worth Avenue, and C.Orrico! You won’t want to miss out on a juicy surprise!
The Gardens Mall – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Worth Avenue – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
C. Orrico – 336 S County Rd, Palm Beach, FL 33480 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beach Bash Palm Beach – December 28, 2019
Saving Sea Turtles Never Looked So Good…

Every Sunday in November
Enjoy Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at our Blue Table partners, Hog Snappers Shack And Sushi. During the month of November, Hog Snappers is generously donating 10% of brunch sales to LMC in support of sea turtle and ocean conservation!
Location: Hog Snapper’s 279 US Hwy 1, Tequesta, FL 33469
Brunch: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Chili’s Give Back Night will be hosted the third Thursday of every month. Head over to the Jupiter and US-1 location on November 21 and be sure to mention Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Proceeds will help further expand our research efforts!

Friday, December 6 – The Royal Poinciana Plaza Holiday Reveal, benefitting LMC! In the morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wee Royals: Adventure Club is offering conservation focused programs for kids. They will be hosting their tree lighting and Holiday Reveal at 6 p.m. Please join for a special night!


Hike2O

In partnership with the Florida Trail Association – Loxahatchee Chapter, get excited for Hike2O! Hike approximately 30 miles over three days on the ocean to lake hiking trails that span across parts of Martin and Palm Beach Counties.

What: 3-day, 2-night backcountry hiking benefit event 
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 
Contact: Hannah at hcampbell@marinelife.org if interested


What’s New in Rehab?

In October, the LMC hospital team collaborated with several organizations in an effort to release 242 of its young sea turtles. Hatchlings, post-hatchlings and small juveniles were among one of our largest releases to-date. During its life stages, sea turtles live out in the deep-ocean near floating mats of sargassum seaweed. In leading weeks, consistent high winds blew sargassum away from the local area and stunted the turtles return back to their ocean home. Many fishing boats were asked to keep an eye out for nearby sargassum, and satellite imagery was utilized to track its whereabouts. It was eventually reported that a large mat was seen slowly moving north off the coast of Miami. The team quickly set plans in motion to release its 242 turtles, but needed the help of partners and boat transportation. We called our friends at 4ocean, who graciously volunteered their time and resources to help bring all the turtles back to the ocean. Early in the morning of October 18th, the hospital team including our intern and veterinary extern, loaded the 4ocean boat with the precious cargo and set out through the Palm Beach Inlet in search of sargassum. Together we travelled more than 5 miles offshore, and into the Gulf Stream, to find the patches of sargassum that provide food, camouflage, and greater chances of survival overall.

After several hours of zigzagging, and following Gulf Stream currents, we came across several large mats floating 15 miles offshore that would accommodate our turtles. The hospital team released the turtles while 4ocean worked tirelessly to pluck out large amounts of floating debris. Among our 242 sea turtles were 2 small juveniles named Boomerang and Friend, who were a part of the head start program at The Georgia Sea Turtle Center. We are extremely grateful for the time, equipment and manpower from all those involved, especially 4ocean, in this successful release! 


Conservation Corner

Show your thanks to the ocean this month and pledge to go #NoStrawNovember. Join LMC in the fight against ocean plastic and participate in the #NoStrawNovember challenge by refusing single-use plastic straws all November long! To help celebrate #NoStrawNovember, LMC’s gift store will include a FREE #StrawFreeWithLMC sticker with the purchase of any reusable or paper straw in stores or online! 

Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Conservation Department sorts and records each piece of debris removed from the beach after each beach and underwater cleanup. In September 2019, Loggerhead Marinelife Center participated in the 32nd International Coastal Cleanup, and the results were determined. During the cleanup, over 30,495 pieces of debris were removed from the beach. Data shows that over 95% of all debris collected were made of plastic.

Strange items found during this month’s cleanups include: a photo album, car keys, a motorcycle helmet, and a lightbulb! 


We are very pleased to report a record-breaking nesting season in 2019! Our research team has recorded 20,998 nests along our beaches (1,913 more nests than the previous record year of 2017). We are excited to see such high nesting numbers, which can be attributed to decades of conservation work and the continued protection of marine life through the Endangered Species Act and Atlantic fisheries regulations.

Unfortunately, our work is not done. Sea turtles are now facing different threats, including beach erosion, coastal development, debris entanglement and ingestion, climate change, and unintended vessel interactions. Many of these threats lead to increased sand and water temperatures and pollution (especially plastics). In the upcoming year, the LMC Research Department is conducting numerous studies to better understand how such threats are impacting our local sea turtle populations.


Research Update

Sea turtle nesting season is officially observed from March 1 to October 31 in Florida. However, in recent years, we have observed nesting in late February and early November. The above graphic shows the nesting and hatching season for leatherback, loggerhead, and green sea turtles in 2019. Each species typically nests over a three to four month period, followed by a three month long hatching period (eggs incubate for 45–60 days on average).

Our nesting and hatching season spans about 9.5 months of the year! The leatherbacks are the first to nest in late February or early March, followed by the loggerheads in April. Green sea turtles nest in mid to late July. All three species overlap in nesting and hatching activities during the months of July and August, with peak nesting activities occurring in late June to early July of each year.


Education Department is seeking Spring 2020 Interns!

The Education Department is currently seeking college level interns. Qualified candidates would assist with developing, implementing, and facilitating current and future school partners, including public programs offered at LMC. Students interested in this internship will be working with the LMC Education staff and assisting in various projects.

  • Facilitating educational programming as needed
  • Training and supervision of LMC volunteers to lead regularly scheduled programs
  • Brainstorming and assisting in the design of new, innovative and mission-centric programming
  • Assisting with the tracking and maintaining budget for on campus programming
  • Monitoring and communicating inventory needs for various programs
  • Collecting and coordinating the repurposing of recycled material donations for various crafts and campus events
  • Maintaining relationships with LMC volunteers and LMC staff members involved with programming
  • Facilitating payment for all regularly scheduled paid public programs
  • Daily tasks include, creating education materials and content for monthly eNewsletter, monthly programs calendar and program social media content.
  • Collecting and recording program tallies
  • Answering guest inquiries via phone and email
  • Facilitating registration and payment for school and public programs
  • Other duties as assigned

Adoption Spotlight

Say hello to our newest adoptable patient, Bailey! Bailey is an adult male loggerhead sea turtle patient that was found at FPL’s St. Lucie site. The turtle is missing its right, front flipper due to an unknown trauma. Bailey’s blood work upon arrival indicates anemia and hypoglycemia. Radiographs also revealed an intestinal impaction with a large amount of crab shells.  Bailey is underweight and in poor health overall due to chronic debilitation. The turtle was put into freshwater to remove the barnacles, leeches, and
other epibiota that covered his body. Bailey is receiving fluids and antibiotics, and will be closely monitored by hospital staff with routine blood work. Be sure to adopt and support Bailey’s recovery today!

Have you ever wanted to name one of our sea turtle patients? Now you can support Loggerhead Marinelife Center by figuratively naming a sea turtle hatchling. This is a perfect gift!


Volunteer Spotlight

This month we are excited to announce that Susan Kevin is our volunteer of the month! Susan has been volunteering at LMC since November 2018 in our Education Department. She is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable field trip docent and is trained in all three types of field trips! She also assists with our Living Beaches program as well as outreaches, turtle releases, and ‘help needed’ shifts.

Susan and her meticulous patient notes are always present during Monday AM shift meetings, and her questions are always insightful and educational! She’s often giving guests mini tours of the Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital and leading student groups around campus.

Thank you for all you do!


Mascot Corner: Who is Fletch?

Hello Friends,

Fletch here, the lovable and huggable Loggerhead Marinelife Center mascot. Fletch loves a good high five or low five, and is always looking for the opportunity to play and dance with visitors of all ages. So, don’t
be shy when Fletch is around! Fletch is a kid at heart, and is always
looking for a hug. When you visit the Center, don’t forget your camera and a smile! Fletch LOVES to have a picture taken with visitors, for that special selfie moment.

Fletch Factoid
Fletch is named after Loggerhead Marinelife Center founder, Eleanor FLETCHer, aka, “The Turtle Lady”.

Fletch’s Personal Bio
Birthplace: Juno Beach, Florida
Height: Tall
Weight: My Secret
Eye Color: Ocean Blue
Age: Kid at Heart
Alma Mater: C Turtle U
College Degree: Doctor of Turtleology
Favorite Mascot: Of course ME!
Favorite Superhero: Aquaman
Favorite Restaurant: Thirsty Turtle
Favorite Meal: Florida Lobster
Favorite Candy: Turtles® Candy Bar
Favorite Band: The Turtles
Favorite Sport: Swimming
Favorite Sports Team: Jupiter Loggerheads
Favorite Movies: Finding Nemo & Finding Dory
Favorite T.V. Show: Aqua Kids
Favorite Actor: Crush
Favorite Song: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Theme
Favorite Book: Fletch Adventures by Jennifer Cochran
Favorite Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare
Favorite Spa: The Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Fletch’s Challenge

There is a lot of work to do. Let’s get started!


Shop Where it Counts

Consider the LMC Gift Store for your holiday purchases! Purchasing from the Gift Store is the perfect way to find gifts to give, and to also give back. Stop in to our Gift Store where you will find a huge selection of turtle-themed and coastal items for all ages.

Or visit Tortuga Trends, our newly redeveloped online boutique where the product selection continues to grow. We now offer international shipping! And orders that are $100 or more qualify for free domestic shipping!  

Be sure to visit Tortuga Trends on Cyber Monday where we will be offering free shipping on all domestic orders. And a free gift for all orders that are $50 or more.

Feel good about the gifts you give knowing that your purchase supports our work in sea turtle and ocean conservation.


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. Receive 10% off on Cyber Monday, December 2!


Thank You To Our Outstanding Supporters!

A huge thank you to our Eleventh Annual Go Blue Awards Sponsors!
Bob and Donna Goldfarb donated a Guy Harvey print to LMC to display on campus. Bob is a fellow Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 2020 classmate of LMC’s Director of Education, Hannah Campbell. 
We would like to thank Lina’s Limoncello for their generous donation of $510.00! Lina’s Limoncello donated $1.00 for every Lina Colada sold from July through September. We truly appreciate the generous support of community partners like you!
We would like to thank our November Blue Friends Society Beach Cleanup Sponsor: Betsy Munson.
Shoutout to the Miami Marlins Minor League for hanging out with our seasonal camp and cleaning the beach!
Shoutout to Kohl’s for coming out to LMC and holding a beach cleanup and campus beautification project!