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project terrapin

Project Terrapin is a volunteer, conservation, and education initiative to support the Northern Diamondback Terrapin and its habitat through research. 

Project Terrapin is not only about the conservation of diamondback terrapins in Barnegat Bay and throughout New Jersey, it is also about the protection and stewardship of key bay habitats including salt marshes, barrier island dunes, and back bay shoreline areas. 

latest updates

It is Terrapin Nesting Season in NJ!  Be Terrapin Aware

developed by Lily VW
What to do if you find...
A nesting female terrapin
An injured terrapin
A  hatchling?
Veolia North America
donated funds to help MATES Project Terrapin purchase more BRDs for distribution and to recover derelict crab pots from Barnegat Bay, New Jersey (press release)

Follow the repatriation of "Bayley" a wild, adult female  terrapin that was taken from a local habitat and was  released on June 19, 2023! (see the story about Bayley in the Terrapin Times)

We encourage you to always "Be Turtle Aware! " We have a new lawn sign design that was selected for this year!

Project Terrapin is an active and proud member of the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group (DTWG)
 Terrapin Sighting Form (Report a Terrapin Here)

Project Terrapin honors the memory of Andrew Barclay and Samuel T. (Terry) Griffith for their eternal
contributions to diamondback terrain conservation, research and education. 


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Adult Terrapin Alert Poster FINAL JPG (1).jpg


stay connected with us

Governor Christie signed bill A2949 on July 15, 2016 making terrapins a non-game species in New Jersey.  There will be no harvest season for terrapins and terrapins will be managed by the NJ Fish and Wildlife Endangered and Non-game Species Program.  See blog

Our diamondback terrapin hatchling head start program includes a school stewardship component with over 10 schools. We released over 100 terrapins back to the southern Long Beach Island this past summer.  Check out the project through a video diary by Auten Road School (Head start video)

Project Terrapin has reached our goal  of 20,014 BRDs distributed in 2014.  In 2020, we reached 30,000 BRDs distributed for free.  Read a great article about crab pots, focusing on an initiative by the Wetlands Institute by Cape May Magazine (Here)


learn more

Click the links down below to learn more about Project Terrapin and our conservation mission.

Project Terrapin supports diamondback terrapin research, conservation and education throughout Barnegat Bay and New Jersey.  Students from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) volunteer over 1000 hours to these initiative each year.  There are seasonal research positions available. However the program is a volunteer initiative at the grass roots level of research and conservation. We reach 1000's of students and the general public throughout the year.

There are three major components to Project Terrapin  We have a conservation initiative underway including "Turtle Gardens" where we enhance nesting areas for terrapins. We are recovering Derelict Fishing Gear project to remove crab pots from Barnegat Bay; we invite volunteers to help us with a citizen science during the summer to locate crab pots & reporting terrapins seen Terrapin Sighting Project,

To continue our efforts in all three areas, we rely on donations and fundraising opportunties.  All of our funds go directly to conservation, research items, or educational materials.  We sell Project Terrapin Merchandise and ask for donations for our TRRTLZ bracelets to fund some of our road signs, nest site projects, BRDs and bundling materials. Thanks to Veolia North America for their generous support of BRDs and crab pot removal from Barnegat Bay.  

We are looking for college interns that need to gain some field experience during the summer.  In some cases, we are able to secure a small stipend as part of a student grant program if the student wants to build research exerience.  There may be other opportunities for those wanting to get more involved.  Please complete this application if interested.  Most of the work is in southern LBI and/or Stafford Township, NJ.


research & conservation

Project Terrapin introduced its 2024 summer research and conservation interns, volunteers and staff for being a part of our Barnegat Bay projects that included...

1.  The nesting ecology of terrapins at N. Sedge Island, Cedar Run Dock Road & Cedar Bonnet Island.  

2. The Terrapin Sighting Project that includes a mark and recapture population study

3. Nesting habitat enhancement project that will include mapping and ground truthing and "Turtle Gardens"

4. Our derelict fishing gear retrieval project at Barnegat Bay with Conserve Wildlife., NOAA, Stockton University through the generous funding of Veolia North America.  Be a part of our survey work.  Please report crab pot sightings here.


Please contact us for more information and/or complete the application.  We are working with The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey as a partner in Barnegat Bay terrapin research along with our other partners including Stockton University, Save Barnegat Bay, ReClam the Bay and the Long Beach Township Marine Field Station.   

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