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Don’t let go of that balloon!

Did you know? Deflated balloons that enter the ocean resemble jellyfish, a common prey item for sea turtles.

In 2018, Loggerhead Marinelife Center and partner organizations removed over 1,241 balloons from Florida beaches.

Can you find some of the strange items we’ve collected during our beach cleanups in 2018?

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In the photo above, look for:

  • An army man
  • A plastic shark
  • A hair curler
  • A plastic “LOVE” clip
  • A plastic lighter
  • A jelly shoe
  • A racecar
  • A glass cup
  • A jet-ski toy

Marine Debris Bites

Did you know?


When plastic enters the ocean, sea turtles and other marine life often eat it, mistaking it for food.

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This bottle, removed from the beach during a cleanup, shows sea turtle bite marks taken from the plastic. When ingested by marine life, plastic trash can cause internal injuries, starvation, and even death.


Post hatchling sea turtle and ingested plastics

100% of all post hatchling sea turtles that enter Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s sea turtle hospital have plastics in their stomachs


All hospital jars pictured contain the stomach contents of deceased hatchling and post-hatchling sea turtle patients.

This year, go #PlasticFreewithLMC and help sea turtles and other marine life by reducing single-use plastics in your everyday life!

As part of FWC’s Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program, In 2018, LMC and partner organizations collected and recycled over 228 MILES of monofilament fishing line, more than enough to stretch across the State of Florida from Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach to Crystal River, Florida. mrrp 2018-1Every mile of monofilament removed from the marine environment reduces the risk of entangling marine life.


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.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Responsible Pier Initiative (RPI) was developed as a collaborative program to work directly with recreational anglers on fishing piers. The purpose of these efforts is to provide first responders on piers with the necessary training and resources to respond effectively to sea turtle injuries or stranding on or around fishing piers.

rpi update jan 2019

Since 2013, The Responsible Pier Initiative is responsible for the successful rescue of over 547 sea turtles and the removal of over 18,000 lbs of marine debris.


Thank you to all of our Responsible Pier Initiative partners for their hard work and dedication to sea turtle conservation!!





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This Holiday SEAson, don’t forget to give a gift to the sea! Follow one, two or all 5 of these simple ways to reduce your plastic waste during the holidays.


1. Choose recycled or reusable wrapping options for gift giving, such as reusable bags and boxes.

brown gift box on white bull dog s head

Photo by on


2. Show off your cookie decorating skills and make memories with loved ones by baking homemade treats instead of grabbing heavily packaged, pre-made sweets.

christmas cookies
Photo by on


3. Be sure to skip the single-use plastic cups and utensils by using reusable dining and drinkware for holiday parties.

white tableware

Photo by Kaboompics .com on


4. Spend time outside with friends and family and help keep our beaches clean by participating in a beach cleanup.

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5. Pledge to make 2019 GREEN! Make a New Year’s Resolution to reduce single-use plastics and opt for reusable bags, cups, and straws all year long.

Straw Free with LMC cup


Happy Holidays from LMC’s Conservation Department!

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The Conservation Department here at Loggerhead has collected a record high of 11,674 pieces of foam so far during the month of November, collected during only ONE beach cleanup.

Why is there so much you ask? Styrofoam easily breaks down into small pieces, however will never fully biodegrade into the environment. The figure below describes how long different items physically break down, but most plastics will never decompose to be recycled throughout the Earth’s nutrient cycle.


Figure 1. Physical decomposition of various trash items. Although these may be broken down to be invisible to the human eye, most plastics will never return to the Earth’s nutrient cycle.

So how can we decrease the amount Styrofoam in the environment?

Reduce and Reuse!


Figure 2. Styrofoam collecting on shore at Phil Foster Park boat launch. 

  • Bring your own reusable cup instead of using a single-use Styrofoam cups.
  • Request for your food to be wrapped in aluminum foil instead of the Styrofoam takeout containers.
  • Choose recycled paper cartons instead of foam cartons for your eggs.
  • Many local packing and shipping stores will take packing peanuts to reuse them in the future.
  • Clean styrofoam can be recycled at your nearest Publix!

These are just some of the many ways you can make a positive impact in the health of our Earth.




Written by Anna Rooney. 

Since 2017, Loggerhead Marinelife Center volunteers have removed over 8,000 straws from Florida Beaches. Over 70% of all debris collected during beach cleanups are made of plastic.


Can you spot some of the strange items found during the past few beach cleanups?
  • Golf ball
  • Dog tag
  • Sunglasses
  • Turtle
  • Toilet seat
  • Pacifier
  • Toy jet skier
  • Stuff animal hamster
  • Doll
  • Chess piece
  • 1 Conservation Intern