Turtle Scouts Sue and Jim Foley Bring the Wow!
For many years, a toy sea turtle sat on Jim Foley’s desk at work, a visible reminder of the Foley’s dream to retire to a beach home on Hutchinson Island and find a way to work with sea turtles. In 2015, the couple made it happen. Sue and Jim left their home in Maryland, moved to the island full-time and began volunteering for Florida Oceanographic Society. They’ve helped with the Coastal Center’s Signature golf tournament, our Lights on the Lagoon holiday event and other community outreach events, but their first love is sea turtles!
A business executive who consults part-time with companies on people and organizational culture, Jim loves being a sea turtle scout. “We’re so lucky to live here. When I first saw a loggerhead sea turtle climb out of the water on our beach, it was a magical experience,” says Jim, who’s given 125 hours of service. “I’ve become passionate about the turtles. If guests see a nesting turtle up close and understand all that the turtles are up against, they are going to remember that experience and become more in-tune with environmental stewardship.”
A devoted sea turtle scout, Sue also volunteers as an exhibit guide, and has given 350 hours to the Coastal Center. Sue began her career as an art director for a newspaper. After time at home raising the couple’s two sons, Christopher and JJ, she taught second-grade for an elementary school in Maryland. Lately, she’s picked up her camera again to photograph landscapes, sunrises, and the turtles. They’ve also started a Lights Out event at their beachfront community to celebrate the start of sea turtle nesting season.
The Foleys like to travel and enjoy visiting their sons in Houston and Los Angeles. They’ve also been remodeling homes. Their current project is a 1970’s era A-frame near Asheville, NC. At home, they spend a lot of time on the beach with their dog Marley, and also volunteer at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. Sue is a docent there and occasionally leads guest tours, and Jim is a member of the volunteer rehab staff working on sea turtle care and helping with releases.
“We’re lucky to be so close to the sea turtles and be involved in their conservation,” says Sue. “People’s faces really light up – adults and kids – when they see a sea turtle on our walks, and that’s very rewarding. Sharing that excitement with them is really fun.”
Sue & Jim Foley Snapshot:
East Coast Couple: NY(Sue) & NJ (Jim)
Strong knot: Married for 34 years
Daily treat: Beach walks with Marley
First trip in retirement: Grand Canyon
Sue's recent read: Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
Jim's recent read: Thank you for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in an Age of Accelerations
How they met: They're not sure!