This August, we were lucky enough to welcome two new interns in the Conservation Department!
Anna Rooney is originally from Sterling Heights, Michigan. She has recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Biology. Anna’s previous research has been focused on animal behavior of squirrels, but hopes to study marine mammal behavior one day. Her future plans involve getting her Master’s degree and becoming a marine biologist focusing on marine conservation. Anna is loving the South Florida life and is thrilled to be a part of the Loggerhead team.
Jenn Wan was born in Chicago and raised on Long Island. She has taken the semester off from her studies at the University of Tampa and will be graduating in May with a degree in Marine Biology. Her passion for marine conservation started a few years ago when she worked as a summer camp counselor at the Florida Aquarium and saw that her campers were devastated about the threats to marine animals. Since then, she has continued to work at the Florida Aquarium in the Education and Public Program Department and interned in the Husbandry Department where she initiated a mangrove and cypress tree restoration project. Jenn could not be more excited to intern at Loggerhead Marinelife Center because of her passion in marine conservation education and outreach. She hopes to inspire and educate others to be the change in the world.
If you see any of our new interns around campus or in town, make sure to say hi!
Fishing and Florida. The words flow effortless together. Florida is THE Fishing Capital of the World. It’s the best place to cast your line in and put your mind at ease. Whether you love fishing or just enjoy relaxing on a beach, it’s important to understand the negative impacts that fishing line debris has on marine wildlife.
Most modern gear is generally made of synthetic material and will persist for hundreds of years. Most fishing line is made of monofilament, a single filament, nylon product. Anglers use this material because it is flexible, has a high shock strength, high density, and is inexpensive.
According to a study done by Ocean Conservancy through their Trash-Free Seas program, they have found that “derelict fishing gear, including nets, fishing line, traps, and buoys were found to pose the greatest overall threat to all types of marine wildlife, largely through entanglement.” Because monofilament is often clear and thin, sea turtles and other marine life can easily become entangled in the line and drown, strangle themselves, or suffer other injuries.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have found that most of the monofilament fishing line in our waters is from the line getting hooked or snagged and breaking when it is pulled. Even fishing line thrown in the regular garbage can end up in our waters if it is blown away or taken out by animals.
Because monofilament is high density plastic, it must be recycled properly. Monofilament can be recycled at monofilament recycling bins located at many tackle shops and popular fishing location. These PVC pipe recycling bins are emptied every month and the fishing line is cleaned of hooks, weights, and other fishing gear. The line is then shipped away, melted down, and used to manufacture new products, such as tackle boxes.
The Loggerhead Marinelife Center is responsible for over 40 monofilament recycling bin locations in Palm Beach County. Over the last week, our Conservation Department interns and volunteers went to some of these locations, a task they complete every two months. A total of 53 pounds was collected from only 23 monofilament recycling bin locations!
By: Jenn Wan
Since 2016, Loggerhead Marinelife Center and partner organizations have removed over 20,000 bottle caps from Florida beaches.
Can you spot some of the other strange items found during our beach cleanups?
– 2 toy dinosaurs
– An Apple Watch
– A pig
– A die
– A toy plane
– An orange cat
– A clownfish
– A hammerhead shark
– A road reflector
– A fish trap tag
Here are 4 simple ways you can help LMC keep the beaches clean and our marine life healthy this summer!
1. Eliminate single-use plastics– skip that straw, but don’t forget your reusable water bottle and bag
Try to make your beach day plastic free by bringing only reusable water bottle/drink containers and utensils. Additionally, please remember to go #strawfreewithLMC and say NO to plastic straws- a disposable plastic item that is used for 10 minutes but lasts forever.
2. Apply only reef-safe sunscreen
This summer, avoid using sunscreens containing the ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which cause bleaching in our coral reefs.
2. Build them up, but always remember to knock them down (and fill them in)
Sandcastles and holes dug in the sand can be potentially fatal to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. So please knock down sand castles and fill in any holes you make during your beach day.
4. Pick up 3 (or 30) pieces of trash
When leaving the beach, be sure to grab not only EVERYTHING you brought with you (including trash, beach chairs, children, buckets, etc.) but take three extra pieces of trash with you when you go. There are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean today, but you can help prevent that number from growing even larger by doing your part and helping to clean the beach!
Thank you for helping Loggerhead Marinelife Center keep our beaches, oceans, and marine life safe this summer season!
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