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.
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.
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-
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.
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. Also, 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Host a costume swap with your ghoulfriends. Exchange or mix-and-match to make some wickedly awesome costumes
- 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.
- If you got it, haunt it. Put together clothes from your own closet to make a simple costume like ‘70s hippie or Jazzerciser.
- 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
- I’m exorcising. Walk with your children around the neighborhood to trick-or-treat. Walking saves gas and is excellent exercise!
- Pick the right pumpkin for your ghouls. Hollower pumpkins easier to carve (louder the knock, the more hollow the pumpkin).
- Creep it real & carve your pumpkin rather than paint. A painted pumpkin goes in the trash whereas carved can be returned to the earth.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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.