Since I moved back to Florida in October 2017 I’ve been keeping an eye on what other people have been doing. Not in a creepy stalker kind of way (that’s my husbands job), rather, I have been watching where friends and family have been going and if they have any fun. I grew up in Hollywood, Florida, so I know some of the things that there is to do in the surrounding Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas. But, I don’t know everything so I like to get suggestions on new things.
A friend of mine I watch on Instagram posted some pictures of her kids somewhere that looked pretty cool. I had never heard of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center before. With three active little boys I try to find new things to do with them that get them outside and also offer something to learn. I do not want to be bored either, so if the activities I find are adult friendly as well then that makes me a happy mom.
The loggerhead center of course is for loggerhead sea turtles! It is a conservation and rehabilitation effort that was started by a woman named Eleanor Fletcher back in the eighties. She was a resident of Juno Beach, Florida and when a lot of the loggerhead hatchlings were heading inshore instead of towards the ocean she wondered why.
Side note, I went to a baby turtle release on Hollywood Beach once and they said that the turtles will head inland because the light from the city attracts them instead of the light coming off the water – which is what is supposed to lead them to the water.
To promote conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles.
To be recognized locally and internationally as the leading authority in sea turtle education, research, and rehabilitation.”
The center is pretty neat. It look about an hour and fifteen minutes to get there from the Miami area. Thank goodness for car snacks and tablets with wifi hotspots. It was not an overly long drive,we’ve made much longer trips (like flying to Dubai or driving to Iowa) but it is nice to keep the kids occupied and happy.
There is no entry fee to the Marinelife center, it is a non-profit but operates on donations from visitors. In the front of the center is a nifty gift shop with lots of sea turtle stuff to the left of the welcome desk and to the right is an educational area. The educational area has some fish tanks with coral and sea creatures in them. You can read and listen to details about loggerheads and their habitats.
Outside are the pools with the loggerheads. There are younger ones and older ones, we watched the employees put a large loggerhead into one of the pools, that was cool. Kids are welcome here,it is an enclosed area so as a parent I felt a little more at ease here as well. I would still keep an eye on kids though since there is water in the pools and turtles are very tempting to touch! There are signs around that remind patrons to keep fingers away from the turtles though since they are wild animals and will bite.
I nearly forgot, there is Guy Harvey artwork all over the place, which I really love because I have grown up seeing Guy Harvey art everywhere in Florida. Love it.
This facility offers rehabilitation for sick and injured sea turtles, the goal is to release them once they are better. There are turtles with trackers that you can watch their movement. You can also adopt a sea turtle, providing regular financial assistance to feed, house, and medically care for your turtle.
There is also a walking trail you can take advantage of (I will share my personal experience on this later on).
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