The beneficiary for the 2017 Daytona Beach Half Marathon weekend is the Marine Science Center at 100 Lighthouse Drive in Ponce Inlet, Florida. In 2016 the Marine Science Center received $15,000 from marathon proceeds.
Since opening in 2002, the Marine Science Center has cared for nearly nine hundred juvenile and adult sea turtles; more than fifteen thousand hatchlings and washbacks; and nearly one thousand gopher tortoises, freshwater turtles and snakes. The Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Facility at the Marine Science Center has received more than nine thousand five hundred birds since opening in 2004.
One of the main goals of the Marine Science Center is sea turtle rehabilitation. Guests can overlook seven turtle hospital pools from the Turtle Terrace, in front of the main facility. These pools house sick and injured sea turtles, hatchlings, and wash backs under rehabilitation. The rehabilitating hatchlings, wash backs (newly hatched baby sea turtles that are washed back to shore by rough seas) and sea turtles are released upon full recovery. The MSC turtle rehabilitation area also includes care and treatment of freshwater turtles and land tortoises.