Donation-based admission fees, educationally sound exhibits and lovable sea creatures to ogle, what is not to love about the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach, Florida?
Loggerhead Marine Life Center is a gem. What began as a passionate hobby for one local women is now a world-class research and rescue facility in the heart of turtle nesting. The adjacent beaches are literally one of the most nested beaches in the world.
On the day I visited, over fifteen sea turtles, of all sizes, ages and species, called Loggerhead Marine Life Center their home while they received life-saving medical attention and rehabilitation. However, their stay is temporary as Loggerhead is not a zoo, but a hospital and rehabilitation center for these animals. Turtles are released upon recover to be studied in their natural habitats. Did I mention that I love place?!
So, if there are no admission fees how does this place stay afloat? Donations, donations, donations! (Plus profits from their gift shop, fundraising events and a grant here and there.) The fact that this place has not only survived, but thrived, in its thirty-year existence is a testament to how generous people are and the value is placed on healthy ecosystems here in Florida.
Loggerhead Marine Life Center recognizes (and therefore feverishly educates) the public on the fact that not everyone puts such a high value the fragile ocean reef system and shoreline ecosystems. The Loggerhead Marine Life Center is a loud and active voice in the health of Florida’s environment. Programs include community beach clean ups, the Responsible Pier Initiative, and children’s programs to promote their mission of “Education. Research. Rehabilitation.”
I only toured their facilities during my visit, but Loggerhead Marine Line Center offers so much more. If (or maybe I should say when) we return, I would love to go on a Turtle Walk to possibly witness nesting females during the summer sea turtle nesting season. Or maybe take a science class to feed my hunger for learning. We do not have kids ourselves, but if we did I think they would definitely love the Hatchling Tales story time or the Junior Veterinary Learning Lab.
The facility itself is home to lots of educational information, aquariums, play areas for kids, life size replicas of turtles and, of course, live sea turtles. Informational placards accompany each sea turtle and turtle tank with identifying information like their name, medical condition/status and species type. I felt like I was properly introduced to the turtle and found myself rooting for their recovery.
While I loved the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, I would like to return and “do” more. It is crushing to know that we humans are killing these amazing creatures. I really want to do more than just look around. I want to give back. Luckily, Loggerhead Marine Life Center recognizes this (and understands how awesome volunteers are!) and has plenty of opportunities for you (and me) to help! There is something appealing about volunteering when you travel – it really makes you feel connected to the place and people – and in this case – the animals!
The Loggerhead Head Marine Life Center is a must during your next trip to Palm Beach County. It provides education and fun entertainment at a much lower cost than any zoo or amusement park for sure! Who knows, maybe you will leave with an adoptive son or daughter who has flippers and a shell!