In honor of World Ocean’s Day, Loggerhead Marinelife Center teamed up with Jupiter Dive Center, a local dive shop in Jupiter, Florida to host the first Juno Beach Pier Underwater Cleanup in 2018.
In one 50 minute dive, 8 divers were able to remove over 88.2 MILES of fishing line from under the pier.
Each mile of fishing line recovered reduces the chance of entangling marine life, likely resulting in flipper amputation, strangulation, or death.
Special thanks to Jupiter Dive Center for donating their boat, time, and staff to this cleanup!!!
As the sun finally begins to poke out from behind the clouds, it is important to protect our skin using sunscreen.
BUT- did you know that while popular sunscreens may protect us, they are also harming our beautiful coral reefs?
Chemical sunscreens on the market contain chemicals known as benzophenones (BPs) and oxybenzone. These chemicals, specifically oxybenzone, have been known to damage the DNA of the coral resulting in the “bleaching” and death of coral reefs.
We see the most damage to our coral reefs in areas of high tourism. While there are many contributing factors to the depletion of our coral reefs, the immense amount of sunscreen that reaches our oceans play a major role. Every year it is estimated that 4,000 – 6,000 tons of sunscreen enter our oceans worldwide. Over 3,500 brands of sunscreen on the market today contain the chemical oxybenzone.
What Can You Do?
Make sure the sunscreen you are using is Reef Safe. The more natural ingredients- the better! Below is a list of sunscreens to add to your shopping list:
- Thinksport Sunscreen
- Totlogic Natural Sunscreen
- All Good Sport Sunscreen Lotion
- Babo Botanicals Zinc Lotion
- Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen
- Badger Sunscreen Cream
- Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen
- Loving Naturals Clear Body
- Mama Kuleana Reef-safe Sunscreen
- Loving Naturals Clear Body All-natural Sunscreen.
- Stream2Sea Mineral Sunblock
- Goddess Garden Organics
Take the following quiz to find out just how much YOU know about ocean plastics and what you can do to help!
1. How much plastic trash is estimated to be in our ocean currently?
5.25 trillion pieces
Correct! There are an estimated 5.25 TRILLION pieces of plastic in our ocean today, and this number is estimated to increase by 8.5 million metric tons every single year. That is the equivalent of one entire dump truck of plastic being emptied in the ocean every MINUTE.
65 million pieces
500 thousand pieces
6.7 billion pieces
2. What is the most commonly found litter item found on the world’s beaches?
Correct! Cigarette butts are the most common debris items found on beaches worldwide. Most people believe cigarette butts are biodegradable, but they’re not. Cigarettes are made of a type of plastic (cellulose acetate) that can take years to break down into smaller pieces, but will never completely disappear.
3. Out of the top 10 trash items found on the world’s beaches, how many are made of plastic?
Correct! According to the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup data, 9 of the 10 top items found are made of plastic.
4. True or False: Sea turtles and other marine life eat plastic, mistaking it for food.
Correct! Almost every sea turtle that comes into Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s sea turtle hospital has plastic in their stomach- even young hatchlings. Ingested plastics can cause marine life to become sick, or even die.
5. Plastic trash in the ocean mainly comes from:
International law prohibits the dumping of plastic trash from ships.
Airplanes dumping trash from the sky
Correct! Most of the plastic found in the ocean comes from land. A large majority of it winds up in the ocean due to poor waste management systems and the dumping of garbage into rivers and streams.
6. True or False: Plastic is biodegradable.
Correct! Conventional plastics derived from oil will never EVER go away. Over time, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, the smallest of which has even entered the marine food chain at a planktonic level, eventually working its way up to the fish on our plates. Once plastic is created, it exists forever.
7. True or False: Some birds actually collect plastic trash that may resemble their real food and feed these items to their young.
Correct! Everything from bottle caps to plastic cigarette lighters and plastic toys have been found in the stomachs of baby seabirds.
8. Releasing balloons is ok because:
The balloons go into outer space
Releasing balloons into the air is never ok
Correct! Every balloon released comes back to Earth as litter. When in the ocean, deflated balloons resemble jellies, a common food source for sea turtles and other marine life. Sea turtles mistakenly eat these balloons and become very sick- often leading to death. Balloon ribbons can also entangle marine life.
Once in the sky, balloons are melted by the sun’s heat
Balloons float in the clouds forever
9. True or False: Straws are recyclable.
True AND False
Correct! Straws are composed of #5 plastic, polypropylene, but are rarely accepted in recycling facilities. The US alone throws away 500,000,000 straws every day. Take the pledge to go #StrawFreewithLMC, and skip the straw to save a sea turtle!
11. Since plastic trash floats, it only affects marine life on the ocean’s surface.
Correct! Scientists recently reported a prevalence of plastic trash at depths greater than 3.7 miles (19,536 feet) below the ocean’s surface, 92 percent of which is single-use items like plastic bags. They also observed marine life at these depths entangled in plastic items.
11. How can YOU help reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean? (Select all that apply)
Participate in a beach or waterway cleanup
Correct! Beach cleanups are a great way to remove existing plastics from the marine environment.
Bring your own reusable bag with you whenever shopping and recycle whenever possible
Eliminate single-use plastic such as plastic beverage bottles, straws, plastic coffee cups and lids, and foamed plastic takeout container
Correct! Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists on Earth (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated). The only way to stop plastics from entering the ocean in mass amounts is to eliminate single-use plastic items from our lives.
Ignore the problem and hope it goes away.
If we all work together, we will be able to reduce the flow of plastics into the ocean and help save sea turtles and other marine life for generations to come!
Summer is right around the corner, and we all know that means- longer days, warmer nights, and LOTS of delicious seafood…. but, did you know that 70% of the ocean’s fish populations are exploited, over-exploited, or have already collapsed entirely?
Eating seafood can be both healthy and delicious, but it can also be harmful to our ocean.
For years the saying, “there are plenty of fish in the sea,” was taken literally, and the ocean was thought of as an inexhaustible resource. However, we are rapidly coming to realize that is not the case. With the demand for seafood higher than ever, fish populations are struggling to keep up with increased fishing rates.
So, what can we do?
The answer is sustainable seafood.
Sustainable seafood is a growing trend in restaurants around the country Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program defines sustainable seafood as “seafood from sources, whether fished or farmed, that can maintain or increase production without jeopardizing the structure and function of affected ecosystems.” In other words, sustainable seafood comes from sources that have a stable or increasing population, and when taken as food, will not have a negative effect on the population or ecosystem around it. Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a proud Seafood Watch Partner and is dedicated to helping keep plenty of fish in the sea for generations to come.
Ways that YOU can help!
- Buy local – local seafood is almost always the best and most sustainable option!
- Support restaurants striving to provide customers with sustainable seafood options
- Download the Seafood Watch App on your phone and use it to make smart seafood choices
- Know where your seafood is coming from, and always ask the question “is this seafood sustainable?” when purchasing it from restaurants and stores
For even MORE information on sustainable seafood, go to http://www.seafoodwatch.org/
With graduation season in full force and Mother’s Day right around the corner, please don’t forget to hold on tight to those celebratory balloons…. or better yet, don’t buy them at all!
Since 2017, Loggerhead Marinelife Center has removed over 1,700 balloons from local Florida beaches.
When balloons are released into the sky, they often come down and end up in our ocean. Deflated balloons resemble jellies, a common food item for sea turtles and other marine life. When sea turtles mistakenly eat balloons, they get extremely sick- often leading to death. Balloon strings have also been known to entangle marine life, leading to the amputation of flippers or strangulation.
In an effort to prevent balloons from harming marine life, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is partnering with cities and towns across Florida’s coastline to implement a balloon ban. Currently, 18 municipalities across the State of Florida have adopted this ban! For more information, or to implement a ban in your town go to https://www.marinelife.org/conservation/shield/pollution-prevention-balloon/.
So, instead of using balloons to proudly celebrate your graduate or hardworking mom, here are a few suggested alternatives:
- Streamers or banners
- Homemade artwork
Thank you for not buying balloons this Mother’s Day and graduation season!
On Earth Day, April 22, 2018, as part of our upcoming Blue Table Initiative, Loggerhead Marinelife Center has partnered with local restaurants and The City of West Palm Beach Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to go #StrawFreewithLMC For this event, the restaurants listed have agreed to refrain from offering plastic straws to their patrons on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 2018, to help increase public awareness of the need to eliminate single-use plastics, such as straws. In one day, this event will eliminate an estimated 15,000 straws from potentially entering the marine environment and posing a threat to sea turtles and other marine wildlife.
While plastic straws are called “disposable,” they last forever and are among the top 10 items collected globally during beach cleanup events. Already in 2018, LMC and partner organizations removed over 1,700 straws from Florida beaches. However, plastic pollution is much more than a litter problem. Sea turtles and other marine life are becoming ill and often dying from ingesting plastic, mistaking it for food.
So this Sunday, April 22nd, please join us by going #StrawFreeWithLMC and celebrate Earth Day by skipping the straw, and saving a sea turtle!
Jupiter Participating Restaurants:
- The Center Street Nook
- The Marriott Palm Beach Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
- Duke’s Lazy Loggerhead Cafe
- Surf Taco
- Jetty’s Waterfront Restaurant
- Rancho Chico
- Tequesta Brewing Company
- Twisted Trunk Brewing
- Corner Cafe
- Nick & Johnny’s Osteria
- Hurricane Cafe
- Dive Bar Restaurant
- Calaveras Cafe
- Jupiter Beach Resort
- Juno Beach Cafe
- Chowder Heads
- Little Moir’s Food Shack
- Tommy Bahama
- Jupiter Fish House
- Lou’s Bar & Grill
- Time to Eat Diner
- Baldino’s Italian Restaurant
- Jupiter Hills Golf Club
- Papa Kwans Coffee Shop
- Cafe Des Artistes
- Sushi Jo
West Palm Beach Participating Restaurants:
- Palm Sugar
- Leila Restaurant
- Pizza Girls
- ER Bradley’s
- 123 Datura
- Clematis Pizza
- Nico’s Pizza
- City Pizza Italian Cuisine
- Copper Blues
- Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
- MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company
Palm Beach Participating Restaurants
- The Breakers Palm Beach
Nesting season is here- so don your red lights and test out your nesting season knowledge!
1. I want to see a sea turtle nesting, what’s the best way to do this?
Sign up for a Turtle Walk at Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Starting in May, Loggerhead Marinelife Center hosts regularly scheduled Turtle Walks to help you get up close and personal with nesting sea turtles. Space is limited, so sign up today!
Wait for the full moon and walk up and down the beach all night
Hide in the bushes and jump out when you see one coming up the beach
2. Why is it important to keep beach front lights off, and shades pulled shut during nesting season?
Artificial lights can disorient potential nesting sea turtles and hatchlings
Artificial lights produced by humans can disorient and confuse nesting sea turtles and sea turtle hatchling. Turtles use light produced by the moon to guide them back to the water, and when artificial lighting is brighter, turtles will follow that light instead; leading them into the road, swimming pools, storm drains etc. By keeping the lights off and switching to red lights instead, you can help prevent sea turtles from getting lost.
The sea turtles might try to come inside for dinner if they see that you’re home
A sea turtle’s carapace, or shell, is very sensitive to light.
3. How do female sea turtles pick a nesting beach?
The beach with the least trash
The beach with the nicest shells
They have magnetite crystals in their skulls that act as a “GPS” to lead them back to the beach they hatched on
Female sea turtles will actually lay their eggs on the exact same beach they hatched themselves! This is why it is so important to allow hatchlings to crawl down the beach to the water by themselves. When they crawl across the sand, they “imprint” and are able to find that beach many years later.
4. When digging holes or making sand castles on the beach, you should:
Leave them there so others will be impressed by your hole digging and sandcastle building skills
Build giant walls around them to prevent people and sea turtles from ruining them.
Sleep in them overnight
Knock down sandcastles, fill in holes, and remove beach furniture
After playing on the beach, always be sure to knock down your sandcastles and fill in any holes. In the dark, nesting sea turtles and hatchlings are unable to see huge holes and can potentially fall in and get stuck, wasting precious energy they need to survive in the ocean. Sandcastles can prevent hatchling sea turtles from reaching the water by blocking their paths or slowing them down- allowing predators like crabs, birds, racoons, etc. to easily catch them. It is also incredibly important to take all beach chairs and other leisure equipment with you when you leave the beach, turtles can become trapped in them and get seriously injured.
5. When female turtles are nesting, they shed tears and look like they’re crying, but the turtle is really:
Crying because of all of the trash in the ocean
Keeping flies and small bugs out of her eyes
Crying because she will never meet her babies
Secreting extra salt from her body
When female sea turtles lay eggs, a stream of “tears” runs down their faces. These tears are actually the result of glands in their eyes that expel salt ions from their bodies. Because sea turtles drink saltwater, they need a way to rid themselves of excess salt. We only really ever see sea turtles naturally out of the water when nesting or in some cases sunning themselves, so we only really see them “crying” when laying eggs.
6. If you spot a nesting sea turtle on the beach, you should:
Take pictures using flash for Instagram
Shine a light on the beach to illuminate the turtle’s way
Start screaming and run away because turtles are scary
Sit still and quietly while allowing the turtle to pass undisturbed
When a nesting sea turtle is spotted, it is important to stay calm, quiet, and low to the ground. Please do not shine bright lights at or near the turtle, or you might disorient them, hurt their eyes, or scare them back into the water.
7. A sea turtle’s gender is determined by:
How much salt is in the ocean
The number of eggs laid
How big the mother turtle is
The temperature of incubation of the developing egg
In most species, gender is determined before a baby is born- or hatched. BUT in most sea turtle, alligator, and crocodile species it is determined after the eggs are fertilized. Research shows that if the eggs are incubated at a low temperature, they will be males, if they’re incubated at a high temperature, they will be females.
8. What species of sea turtles nest on Florida beaches? (select all that apply)
Green Sea Turtles
Leatherback Sea Turtles
Kemps Ridley Sea Turtles
Hawksbill Sea Turtles
Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Leatherback, Green, and Loggerhead sea turtles nest on the beaches of Florida every year. Although Kemps Ridley and Hawksbill sea turtles are seen swimming around Florida waters, but they rarely nest here.
9. If you see a healthy sea turtle hatchling on the beach crawling towards the water you should:
Pick the hatchling up and take a selfie
Bring the hatchling to Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Put the turtle in the water
Leave the turtle alone to make its way to the water, but ensure other beachgoers don’t harm or step on it
If you happen to spot a strong, healthy sea turtle hatchling making its way to the water, please allow it to crawl to the water on its own. Make sure other beachgoers see the little turtle as well but do not interfere.
10. About how many eggs do female sea turtles lay per nest?
Female sea turtles usually lay about 100 eggs per nest and can lay 2-8 nests per season.
Happy nesting season everyone!
This week, LMC found something incredibly sad under the Juno Beach Fishing Pier—a bird’s nest made entirely of monofilament line. In the middle of this plastic nest, was a single egg, laid by one of the resident birds.
We’re aware of the threats fishing line poses to sea turtles and other marine life under the pier, but this find shows yet another dimension to the problem. Since bird chicks are known to be entangled in nests with fishing line, the fate of this baby bird is uncertain.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center has installed fishing line recycling bins on piers and popular fishing locations around Palm Beach County. The line is then collected and sent away to be recycled. Just last week, LMC sent 65 miles of monofilament fishing line from these bins to be recycled.
How you can help:
- When fishing, always dispose of your line in the proper receptacle.
- If a fishing line receptacle is not available, dispose of fishing line in the trash.
- If you find fishing line or any plastic trash in the marine environment, please pick it up and dispose of it properly.
For more information on how to start a monofilament recycling program in your area go to http://mrrp.myfwc.com