Page 9 - Jupiter Ocean Mile - September '19
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Jupiter Ocean Mile, Page 9
      Loggerhead Marinelife Center Breaks All-Time

      Sea Turtle Nest Count Record

        As of  Tuesday, Aug. 6, Loggerhead Marinelife
      Center’s (LMC) research biologists recorded an all-time
      record-breaking sea turtle nest count of 19,580 nests (and
      counting). The center’s last record-breaking nesting season
      was recorded in 2017 with a total of 19,085 nests. Sea turtle
      nesting season in Palm Beach County runs from March 1
      to Oct. 31 annually. Although the center has experienced
      record-breaking nesting numbers in previous years, other
      years have shown a lower yield. For comparison, the 2018
      nesting season resulted in a total of just over 11,900 sea   Turtle Hospital at LMC have ingested
      turtles nests. With three months left of nesting season,   plastic. In addition to plastic pollution,
      our researchers expect the nesting numbers to continue to   sea turtles are faced with threats of
      increase by a few more thousand nests. LMC’s research   record heat temperatures. The record
      biologists will continue to mark and monitor sea turtle nests   heat may skew sea turtle hatchlings’
      until the end of nesting season, which ends on Oct. 31.   gender to female, thus reducing the
        LMC biologists estimate that over 1,367,489 sea turtle   number of males.
      hatchlings have been produced from nests laid thus far on our   How To Help:
      beaches. With four full-time members of the research staff,     To help LMC celebrate the record
      seven seasonal morning technicians, two night technicians,   breaking sea turtle nesting season:
      five morning interns and one night intern, LMC’s research     • Blue Friends Society Beach Cleanup: Join LMC staff     • Keep your lights out near the beach and install sea
      staff members are able to monitor a 9.5-mile stretch of beach   and volunteers on Aug. 17 at 8:30 a.m. on the center’s   turtle-friendly lighting where needed.
      in Palm Beach County. This specific stretch of beach is one of   back deck for our monthly Blue Friends Society Beach     • Bring weak or disoriented hatchlings to Loggerhead
      the most densely nested sea turtle nesting beaches in the world.   Cleanup where you can help reduce debris on one of the   Marinelife Center. Hatchlings can be placed in a bucket
      LMC, a nonprofit sea turtle hospital, research, education and   world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches.  with damp sand, no water, for transport. They can be
      ocean conservation institution is located in Juno Beach.     • Adopt a nest: To celebrate this year’s record nesting   placed in the 24-hour drop-off cooler located outside the
        Director of Research, Dr. Justin Perrault commented   season people are encouraged to adopt a sea turtle nest.   center’s entrance (14200 U.S. Highway One, Juno Beach,
      on the success of LMC’s research efforts and the record-  For more information on this program please visit: https://  FL 33408).
      breaking nest count, “This news is quite exciting,                     Don’t:
      especially since season is nowhere near over, and we are     Additionally, please remember to practice sea turtle-    • Interact with or disrupt a nesting sea turtle.
      still expecting a few thousand more nests this season. The   safe  protocol when  visiting our local  Florida  beaches     • Release balloons (deflated ones resemble jellyfish, a
      recent rise in sea turtle nest counts are worth celebrating   during nesting and hatching season.    common prey item for sea turtles).
      and are likely due to protection measures, enacted several   Do:                                       • Use lighting on the beach at night including flashlights,
      decades ago. We have to remind ourselves that there is     • Throw away debris left behind on the beach.  lanterns, flash photography and cell phones.
      still much work to be done to combat existing threats to     • Fill in holes in the sand, knock down sand castles and     • Touch hatchlings on their way to the ocean.
      sea turtles, including reducing plastic pollution, assessing   remove foreign objects that may obstruct a sea turtle’s     • Take or touch empty egg shells, or exposed, unhatched eggs.
      habitat loss, and improving water quality.”        path to and from the ocean.                         • Harm or harass sea turtles, their nests or hatchlings.
        While nesting numbers are at an all-time high this     • If you come across a nesting sea turtle, observe at a     • Use shovels to dig on the beach during nesting season.
      year, it’s vital to remember that sea turtles continue to   distance from behind.                      It is illegal to harm or harass sea turtles, their nests or
      face threats, namely plastic pollution. Currently, 100     •  Look  out  for  disoriented  hatchlings  on  trails  and   hatchlings, which are protected by the U.S. Endangered
      percent of post-hatchlings who are admitted to The Sea   roads near the beach.                       Species Act of 1973 and Florida Statute Chapter 370. For
                                                                                                           more information about sea turtle nesting, visit marinelife.
                                                                                                           org/nesting or
                                                                                                           About Loggerhead Marinelife Center
                                                                                                             Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea
                                                                                                           turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution
                                                                                                           that  promotes  conservation  of  ocean  ecosystems  with
                                                                                                           a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The
                                                                                                           center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory,
                                                                                                           educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates
                                                                                                           the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and
                                                                                                           sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important
                              Jupiter Beach Specialists                                                    sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center
                                                                                                           is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge
                                                                                                           each year. The center’s conservation team works with 90
                                                                                                           local and international organizations across six continents
                                                                         REDUCED                           to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives
                                                                                                           and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean
                                                                                                           conservation. The center is expanding and has launched its
                                                                                                           Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to
                                                                                                           accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education
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