Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a working sea turtle hospital and educational center in Juno Beach, Florida. It is open to the public seven days a week for free!
It’s time to stop texting, and start driving! We’ve partnered with Steinger, Green & Feiner to encourage you to put the phone down, focus on the road ahead, and drive somewhere amazing in South Florida. This month, we’re checking out Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach!
*Images were obtained with approval and under conditions not harmful to this or other turtles. Images were acquired while conducting authorized research activities pursuant to to FWC MTP-19-205(research) or MTP-19-086(rehab).
“One of the most important things people should realize about South Florida is we are the epicenter of sea turtle nesting in the Americas,” said Jack Lighton, the CEO of Loggerhead. “So here at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, we are open seven days a week for free and we welcome the community, families of all ages, in to observe a working sea turtle hospital.”
The patients at Loggerhead Marinelife Center are special. They’re actively receiving treatment for various ailments like illness or body trauma. Some of which occurred naturally in the ocean – and some because of humans.
“I see animals that are almost dead,” said Dr. Charles Manire, the Head Veterinarian and Director of Rehabilitation at Loggerhead. “Most of the ones that come in here are so close to dying that it’s scary sometimes. But when you can take an animal that’s dying, especially if it’s from something that humans did, it’s a very good feeling to be able to rehabilitate it and release it back into the wild to fully recover.”
The staff at Loggerhead works to rescue, rehab, and release sea turtles. About once a month, the staff celebrates sea turtle releases with the public.
“They’re held as a celebration of the great work of our nearly 500 volunteers, our hospital staff, and our incredibly generous supporters who allow us to get these endangered animals right back into their ocean home,” said Lighton.
At Loggerhead, visitors can observe the sea turtle hospital, get within feet of the hospital patients and tanks, and even watch treatments. Plus, you can learn ways to reduce your plastic use and keep our beaches clean for marine life — for free!
“We are donation based,” said Lighton. “We do not charge admission, we don’t sell tickets. This center is open to the community, we don’t want any perceived or real economic barriers to entry. We want everybody to feel the opportunity to come in and learn about what we do here in Juno Beach so that they can get involved in our mission and then take about what we do in Juno Beach at the sea turtle hospital at Loggerhead back to their home, their business, or their school.”
So why should you visit Loggerhead Marinelife Center? Dr. Manire put it simply.
“The big reason is to learn about not just the turtles but the situation for the whole ocean,” he said. “We’re about conservation and conserving our planet and steps that people can take to help conserve the planet because we’ve only got one, you know, so we need to take care of this one.”
Stop Texting Start Driving is sponsored by Steinger, Greene & Feiner.