Florida is filled with opportunities to explore nature around every corner. Endless beaches, the Everglades, and countless species of animals await your discovery. On a recent trip to The Palm Beaches, I visited Loggerhead Marinelife Center. After a free tour, I left with a new appreciation for sea turtles, animals native to Florida, and our beautiful oceans.
“Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a non-profit sea turtle hospital that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site campus hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, a pier that hosts world-class fishing and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 300,000 guests free-of-charge each year.”
- Rehabilitation efforts: The Center rehabilitates an average of 100 sea turtle patients and hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings per year. All animals are rescued, given a full assessment and then nursed back to health. The goal of Loggerhead Marinelife Center is “from rescue to release.” The center is not a zoo and doesn’t operate as such.
- Research efforts: Loggerhead Marinelife Center monitors 9.5 miles of beach during sea turtle nesting season in Palm Beach County (March 1-Oct. 31). This stretch of beach is one of the world’s most densely-populated sea turtle nesting beaches. In 2016, over 16,000 loggerhead, green, and leatherback sea turtle nests were documented during season! It costs approximately $100 per mile for Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s research biologists to conduct daily sea turtle nesting monitoring. Research is essential to protect sea turtles and their habitat.
- Conservation efforts: Loggerhead Marinelife Center fosters more than 20 global conservation partnerships, giving the Juno Beach-based campus a highly global perspective. The center has a variety of conservation projects including the Responsible Pier Initiative (over 50 piers involved in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico) and Project SHIELD.
- Education efforts: We offer over 35 public and educational programs, many of them free — giving students of every age and background the opportunity to learn about and make a difference for our world ocean.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center offers guided tours, eco-adventures, summer camps, winter and spring break workshops.. You can even host your child’s birthday party at the center. A full day can be spent exploring the center, learning about sea turtles, grabbing a bite to eat at the cafe, and then let your kids burn off some energy in the covered play area. I wouldn’t consider myself a huge animal lover. But I was enthralled by the centers efforts and ability to simplify information to show each visitor how they can make an impact through simple tasks to help protect sea turtles. The center was by far my favorite destination during our visit to The Palm Beaches.
The effort to preserve and protect sea turtles is daunting. Their ability to reproduce is threatened more now than ever by hotels on the beach, bright city lights, and pollution. Did you know it costs an average of $1250 every day to care for one sea turtle patient in the Sea Turtle Hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center?
How can you help support this non-profit foundation efforts to protect and educate the public about sea turtles?
You can make a donation, adopt a sea turtle, participate in a beach clean up day, and visit the amazing gift shop at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Be sure to pop by the gift shop to find an amazing assortment of animal themed gift items from clothing to edible treats! The largest part of the center’s funding is provided by proceeds from the gift shop!
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
14200 U.S. Highway One
Juno Beach, FL 33408
Open daily from 10am – 5pm.
Closed for some holidays and special events.