Loggerhead MarineLife Center, a staple to our community, is home to the many sea turtles that inhabit our beaches. The center undertakes long term research to rehabilitate and conserve the various sea turtle species, as well as educate the public on how they can help protect the sea turtles.
The center has grown in popularity among the locals, with its state of the art facility that is free and open to the public, seven days a week.
Earlier this year, Loggerhead MarineLife Center launched an expansion campaign called the “Waves of Progress”, with a mission to expand the facility. The center wants to expand to increase the number of rehabilitation hospital and tanks, classrooms, exhibits, research laboratories, and enhance the facility with more educational and scientific experiences for visitors.
Loggerhead MarineLife Center was brought to life over 30 years ago by a long-time Juno Beach resident Eleanor Fletcher, whose passion was to change the lives of sea turtles forever. Fletcher’s love for sea turtles began when she watched them hatch along the beach during the spring and summer months. She noticed that the turtles headed inland rather than back out to sea, resulting in some of the earliest research on sea turtles in our area. Fletcher become known as “The Turtle Lady”, and began to teach classes in her home about sea turtles. Her program became so successful that she opened a museum in Juno Beach called the Children’s Museum of Juno Beach, which eventually, years later after a few name changes and relocating, would become known as the Loggerhead MarineLife Center.
Today the center is a “green” facility that currently provides a full veterinary hospital, research lab, resource center, gift shop, walk-through exhibit hall, outdoor classroom, and multipurpose rooms for summer camps and birthday parties. With the staff and countless number of volunteers, doubling the center in size through the “Waves of Progress” campaign will help to further the centers vision and mission of protecting sea turtles.
The reason for the expansion is Juno Beach is one of the most important and densely populated sea turtle nesting spots in North America. Currently the center is home to 15 tanks and treats up to 1000 hatchlings and 100 turtles a year from all over the world, and with the new facility added the center is hoping to double the number of turtles saved each year. As well as more advantaged research and the expansion of the turtle hospital as well.
With the expansion the center hopes to be the location destination that will be able to host large social and fundraising events as well as national and international corporate groups, and even host weddings for marine life enthusiasts.
The 14-million-dollar expansion is scheduled to break ground between December 2017 and January 2018 and is expected to take roughly 24 months. The center will continue to remain open during the expansion construction as usual, for those wanting to visit and learn more about sea turtles.