Research


The mission of Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is “to promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles.”

LMC’s research program is one of the longest running sea turtle monitoring programs in the state of Florida. The program officially began when LMC founder Eleanor Fletcher received her permit from the state of Florida in the early 1970s. Each season, the research team documents all sea turtle activities along 9.5 miles of beach from the northern Palm Beach County line south to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. LMC research biologists conduct surveys along Juno, Jupiter/ Jupiter Island beaches from March – October.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center research biologists have systematically monitored these three beaches for more than 16 years to establish baseline normal nesting and hatchling production, with special emphasis on how beach re-nourishment and other coastal construction projects affect the reproductive success of loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center research biologists conduct studies on three beaches in Palm Beach County that host some of the highest sea turtle nesting densities in the United States. Juno, Jupiter-Carlin, and Tequesta beaches are model sites as they host not only recreational activities, but also coastal construction, dredge/fill, and dune restoration projects each year. The three predominant species that nest in Florida are leatherback, loggerhead, and green sea turtles.

LMC research biologists have one of the most comprehensive datasets in the world. These datasets are invaluable not only to scientists but also to local, national and international coastal managers.  They form the basis for conservation decisions used to promote the recovery of sea turtle populations not only in Florida, but world-wide.

This dataset includes records from 1979 to 2016 with the most robust data from the last 16 years.  Information collected (in some years supported by Palm Beach County contracts) includes:

Nest and False Crawl Counts
GPS Locations of All Crawls
Nest Inventory Data/Reproductive Success
Sand & Nest Temperature Data-logs
Mapping of Escarpments, High Water Line and Vegetation Line
Sand Compaction Data
Shorebird Surveys
Night Time Leatherback Surveys