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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

November 14th-17th, Loggerhead Marinelife Center traveled far from Florida’s sunny shores to Las Vegas, NV, to participate in the 2018 Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association (DEMA) show.

The Conservation Team attended the DEMA show to promote the upcoming Responsible Diver program, a component of Project SHIELD. This program offers suggestions to dive operators for sea turtle safe and ocean-friendly dive practices.

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 Conservation Coordinator, Katie O’Hara with display of Responsible Diver Program BCD tags and sea turtle safe diver stickers available for participating dive operators. 

Project SHIELD  is a multi-faceted program designed to provide conservation solutions and pollution prevention initiatives to fishing piers, recreational boaters, beach-side hotels, snorkel, and SCUBA operators, fishing charter operators, and beach access points.

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Tim Hannon, LMC’s Campus Operations Officer, promoting Project SHIELD Conservation efforts. 

After 4 days in the Nevada desert, the team left having established both local and international contacts interested in collaborating with Project SHIELD on conservation initiatives in their areas.

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Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza, 2017 Go Blue Awards Winner and Executive Director of the Ocean First Institute. 

If you are interested in becoming a Project SHIELD partner, please contact Katie O’Hara at kohara@marinelife.org.

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The team met Jean-Michel Cousteau, explorer, conservationist and ocean-advocate.  Son of Jacques Cousteau. 

Seastainable Bracelets

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is responsible for over 40 monofilament bins in Palm Beach County. In many of these monofilament bins, we find two types of fishing line: monofilament and braided line.

Monofilament can be recycled at the various monofilament bins located at many tackle shops and popular fishing locations. The monofilament is cleaned of any hooks and weights, shipped off to be melted down, and used to manufacture new products, such as tackle boxes.

Braided line cannot be recycled.  Luckily, the Conservation Department has found a way to reuse some of the braided line found the monofilament bins, creating Seastainable bracelets.

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Seastainable bracelets are handcrafted by the Conservation Department’s very own interns and volunteers.  Each one is made just a little differently so each bracelet is unique to the person wearing it.

Seastainable bracelets will be sold at beach cleanups for a donation to the Conservation Department.  This Saturday, November 17, come out to the Blue Friend’s Beach Cleanup held at LMC at 8:30am.

Written by: Jenn Wan

Riviera Beach Kayak Cleanup

This week, our Conservation Department had the oppur-TUNA-ty to take on marine debris on the water.  Setting sail from Riviera Beach Marina, our seven OAR-mazing interns and staff members collected 9.50 pounds of trash in about an hour. Some of the most interesting items found on this SEAnic route were crayons and a life vest.

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Written By: Jenn Wan

 

 

In 2018, Loggerhead Marinelife Center has had 81 cleanups and our volunteers have collected over 3,000 pounds of debris!

After every cleanup, beach and underwater, the Conservation Department sorts and documents every piece of debris.  Sorting this trash allows us to identify major types and sources of pollution.  We use this information to develop targeted outreach and education programs that will reduce the amount of pollution entering the marine environment.

On November 1st, the Conservation Department unveiled the one of a kind Marine Debris Sorting Station, a gift from Bank of America. The Sorting Station is a visual of some of the most common items found during beach cleanups.

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The categories displayed include cigarette butts, bottle caps, straws, balloons, and plastic pieces.

Want to help? Come join us Saturday, November 17th at 8:30am for a beach cleanup and to see the Marine Debris Sorting Station in action.

Written By: Jenn Wan

With Halloween right around the corner, October is a good time to think about the scariest thing in the ocean-

PLASTIC!! 

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Once plastic enters the marine environment, it never goes away. Instead, over time, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, forever haunting our ocean and harming marine life.

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Sea turtles and other marine life often mistake this plastic trash for food. Once ingested, plastic trash can cause internal injuries and even death in these animals.  100% of all hatchling sea turtles that enter Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s sea turtle hospital have plastics in their stomachs.

How Can You Help?

This October, 352 volunteers came out to help remove 12,923 individual pieces of trash from the beach, 93.7% of which was plastic. Join your nearest beach or waterway cleanup to help reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean. Sort Report_October 2018Also, don’t forget to recycle those candy wrappers this Halloween! If you are in the Palm Beach County Area, please participate in Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s candy wrapper recycling program and recycle those plastic wrappers so they don’t end up in the landfill or in our oceans.

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Happy Halloween from LMC’s Conservation Department! 

The spookiest thing about Halloween is the amount of waste we produce. Here are some tricks to keep in mind when planning your Halloween.

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Decorations

  1. Keep your fangtastic decorations eco-chic. Skip buying corny decorations this year and reuse decorations from last year to save on money. You can also buy some boo-tiful vintage decorations from your local thrift store or a garage sale.
  2. Have some skele-fun and make decorations from recycled products. Milk jugs make great skeletons or spirits, egg cartons make spooky bats, and trash bags make frightening spiders (just make sure you don’t poke holes in them, so you can reuse them).
  3. Oh my gourd. Use natural decorations, such as pumpkins or dried sticks (to make a witch’s broom), that can be composted when you’re done.

 

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Costumes

  1. Host a costume swap with your ghoulfriends. Exchange or mix-and-match to make some wickedly awesome costumes
  2. Make un-BOO-livable costumes from repurposed materials. Get creative with a cardboard box and create butterfly wings or a robot, use an aluminum tray to create a turtle shell, or spray paint those liter bottles to create jetpacks.
  3. If you got it, haunt it. Put together clothes from your own closet to make a simple costume like ‘70s hippie or Jazzerciser.
  4. Use a spooktacular reusable trick-or-treat bag. Reuse a bucket, pillowcase, or canvas bag as trick-or-treat bags, plus they hold much more candy than plastic pumpkins
  5. I’m exorcising. Walk with your children around the neighborhood to trick-or-treat. Walking saves gas and is excellent exercise!

 

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Pumpkins

  1. Pick the right pumpkin for your ghouls. Hollower pumpkins easier to carve (louder the knock, the more hollow the pumpkin).
  2. Creep it real & carve your pumpkin rather than paint. A painted pumpkin goes in the trash whereas carved can be returned to the earth.
  3. Bone appetit! The pumpkin flesh can be made into spookilicious pies, muffins, smoothies, soups, lasagnas, and chilis. The pumpkin seed can be made into a treat in the oven, stovetop, or even grill.
  4. Squash your pumpkin. Compost pumpkin when you’re done, even if you don’t have a compost bin, smash it & bury it in your garden.

Candy 

13. Recycle your candy wrappers. Although trick-or-treating  Companies like Terracycle, offer candy wrapper recycling programs – if you’re in the Palm Beach area drop your candy wrappers off at Loggerhead Marinelife Center for recycling!

If you follow even just a few of these ideas, you’ll be helping reduce waste this Halloween!

This Saturday, October 20, is Fletch’s Fall Festival at Loggerhead Marinelife Center from 10am – 4pm.  Stop by and decorate your own reusable canvas bag and enjoy some ocean-friendly fall fun!

Written by: Jenn Wan

This August, we were lucky enough to welcome two new interns in the Conservation Department!

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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.IMG_3775.jpg

 

 

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!