Project Terrapin is a volunteer, conservation and education initiative to support the diamondback terrapin and its habitat through research.
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.
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
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 working on Derelict Fishing Gear project to remove crab pots from Barnegat Bay; and we invite volunteers to help us with a citizen science during the summer location of crab pots & locating terrapins 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. Thanks to the generous donation from TRRTLZ we are able to "sell" bracelets for donation to fund some of our road sign and BRD materials.
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.
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.
Our diamondback terrapin hatchling head start program includes a school stewarship component with over 20 schools. We released over 100 terrapins back to the Sedge Island Wildlife Management Area this year. 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 2019, we reached 28,000 BRDs distributed for free. Read a great article about crab pots, focusing on an initiative by the Wetlands Institute by Cape May Magazine (enter here)
Project Terrapin introduces its new 2019 summer research and conservation interns, volunteers and staff for being a part of our Barnegat Bay projects that include...
1. The nesting ecology of terrapins at N. Sedge Island, Cedar Run Dock Road & Cedar Bonnet Island.
2. Our 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 and the American Littoral Society. Be a part of our summer survey work. Please report crab pot sightings here.
Please contact us for more information and an 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 LBI Foundation of the Arts and Science.