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'Water quality issues' hamper operations at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

State regulators halt new turtle admissions
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 17:41:56-05

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — There are new concerns inside the Loggerhead Marinelife Center located in Juno Beach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said there are concerns about the quality of water in the tanks at the facility. As a result, it cannot take in any turtles to rehabilitate.

Visitors to the center are asked to donate $5 for the chance to some of the roughly 100 turtles the facility rehabilitates every year.  

If visitors are lucky, they might even see a turtle released back into the Atlantic Ocean. 

No entry sign at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Jan. 7, 2022
A no entry sign was posted outside an area of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center on Jan. 7, 2022.

However, right now they can only see one of three turtles remaining at the facility.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has stopped the marine center from taking in new turtles because the quality of water in the rehab tanks was not up to standard. 

A spokeswoman for the center told Contact 5 that a nearly finished multi-million construction project is limiting its mission. 

The spokeswoman initially agreed to an on-camera interview to tell the facility's side of the story. But when she chatted with a supervisor, she said "this isn't news."

FWC statement on Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Jan. 7, 2022
An FWC spokesman released the following comment regarding the issues at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

She declined an interview and would not let WPTV record video inside the facility. 

"Loggerhead Marinelife Center quickly notified FWC staff concerning a change in water quality measurements in tanks holding marine turtles. Our staff has been working with (Loggerhead) so we can resume sending sick or injured marine turtles to their facility for treatment in the near future," a Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesperson emailed Contact 5.

Representatives at the center expect the water quality problem to be fixed soon and expect to have its construction project completed in early March. 

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