Supporting the Future of Research

by Elizabeth Hefner, Development Team The Wetlands Institute is pleased to announce it has awarded the first fellowship in the Jeannie Morris Graduate Fellowship Program for Coastal Conservation and Research. Our first fellowship recipient is Garret Maggio, a Ph.D. student in the Biology, Biomedicine, and Chemistry Program at East Carolina...

Three Generations of Connection

by Chip Roach, Institute Supporter and Loyalty Society Member We have been visitors to The Wetlands Institute (TWI) building and donors for decades. It is TWI’s stewardship of the tidal marsh and the architectural beauty of the headquarters building that were the main motivators of our giving. Then, onto the scene came twin boys, named Justin and...

Marsh Musings – Spring 2024

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director As spring arrives in the marsh, I reflect on the passing of another year and how things have evolved. I take stock in the external forces that drive our work, the accomplishments we have achieved so far, and all we have planned for the new year. I have the benefit of seeing the marshes almost every day...

Creating an Ethic of Stewardship Across Generations

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director, & Elizabeth Hefner, Development Team The Wetlands Institute (TWI) is a gateway to connections that inspire stewardship. Our mission is to promote appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of wetlands and coastal ecosystems, and for the past 55 years, we have fervently believed that the most...

Saving Drowning Marshes – It’s in Our Nature

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Tidal marshes are the foundation of a complex web that sustains the coastal way of life. Whether by providing food, shelter, and home to the myriad of life that rely on them; protecting our communities from storms; or connecting us to nature through their calming and majestic presence, our marshes are...

Surveying the Marsh by Land & Sky

by Julie Blum, Research Scientist Salt marshes are highly dynamic environments, and understanding how they change over time is an important element of marsh research. To monitor these changes, our research team collects spatial data through a combination of on-the-ground surveying and remote sensing techniques. We then use mapping software to...

One Million and More Saved

by Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Director of Research & Conservation Earlier this year, reTURN the Favor (RTF) program volunteers were busy on the beaches of the Delaware Bay rescuing stranded horseshoe crabs. Early May through early June is the period when Red Knots, Ruddy Turnstones, Black-bellied Plovers, and other long-distance migratory shorebirds...

Learning in Action: Meet Anthony Jordan-Michl

by Danielle Meeker, Aquarist & Environmental Educator This school year, The Wetlands Institute is proud to welcome Anthony Jordan-Michl as an Aquarium Intern. Anthony is a senior at Lower Cape May Regional High School (LCMR) and a participant in their Structured Learning Experience Program. As part of his academic schedule, Anthony gains...

We’ve Expanded! Virtually, That Is

by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development During the 2022-23 academic school year, a record-breaking 16,785 children and young adults participated in formal education programs with The Wetlands Institute. It was a privilege to be welcomed back into classrooms across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware, and open...

Marsh Restoration Comes Home

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director & Elizabeth Hefner, Development Team Coastal marshes, tidal creeks, and bays are cradles of life. They host a phenomenal diversity of wildlife, including the beloved diamondback terrapin and majestic Osprey. They are nursery grounds for fish and shellfish and crucial to coastal resiliency, offering...

A Decade of Commitment

by Steve Popowski, Wetlands Institute Volunteer I have volunteered with The Wetlands Institute for over a decade, and what keeps me coming back are the opportunities to support the Institute’s dual mission of performing meaningful conservation research while also educating the region on coastal ecology. On the research side, I have been a part of...

Marsh Musings – Winter 2023

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director As the seasons change, all of us at The Wetlands Institute welcome the changing energy and opportunity to shift focus. Make no mistake, education programs connect kids with nature throughout the fall; our research teams continue monitoring and assessments; and we commit extra time to analyzing data,...

Oystercatchers of the Delaware Bay

by Meghan Kolk, Conservation Scientist If you’ve ever taken a stroll along an Atlantic Coast beach, you’ve likely encountered American Oystercatchers. These large, charismatic shorebirds draw attention with their flashy appearance, boisterous vocalizations, and entertaining behaviors. The Delaware Bay also supports a population of American...

Studying a Creature of the Night

by Sam Collins, Research Scientist Some of the most iconic species of our coastal wetlands are herons and egrets, which are often observed wading in the open water areas of the marsh trying to catch a quick meal. Unlike conspicuous and easily observed wading birds like Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons can be very...

Bycatch in Traps: A Pervasive but Solvable Problem

by Brian Williamson, Research Scientist Diamondback terrapin populations face many threats, but none as widespread or detrimental as bycatch in crab traps. Terrapins breathe air, and can only hold their breath for about 45 minutes during warmer months. As carnivores, terrapins are attracted to bait and crabs within the traps and, once caught,...

Reflections From a Seasonal Naturalist

by Eunice Hudzik, Seasonal Naturalist As a Seasonal Naturalist, it is almost a certainty that each day, while either out in the marsh or on the beach, I will experience some kind of wildlife sighting. These likely encounters have fueled my enthusiasm for a job that keeps me coming back. My most memorable sighting happened during my second year...

Making Our Mission Happen

by Elizabeth Hefner, Development Team For most of us, exploring the marsh and visiting The Wetlands Institute is part of the fabric of summer. Every year, you join us in celebrating the joy of diamondback terrapin hatchings, the spectacle of shorebird migration, and the simple pleasure of beautiful days outside in the marsh or overlooking the...

Marsh Musings – Autumn 2023

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Yep, it happened again. Summer flew by and once again, I’m not sure how it went so fast. As we settle into the rhythm of fall, it’s a time when I take a minute to reflect on all the wonderful things that we accomplished together this busy season. I am pleased to say that we had many outstanding moments...

Our Eyes (and Ears) are on the Marshes

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Wetlands and coastal ecosystems are incredibly dynamic and change is constant. Superimposed on their rhythmic changes are increased pressures related to climate change, sea level rise, and intensifying human use of these resources. The Wetlands Institute is exceptionally well-positioned to expand its work...

Welcome to the Team – Summer 2023

Meet Devon Patchel Devon Patchel joined The Wetlands Institute as the Administrative Coordinator in March 2023. She works closely with our Executive Director and the Development and Communications team, specifically focused on special event coordinating and fundraising efforts. Prior to joining the team here at TWI, Devon worked for Stockton...

Martins & Swallows: The Marsh’s Aerial Acrobats

by Rae Griffiths, Office Assistant Spring migration in Cape May holds many special moments. Whether it be Ospreys returning to nesting platforms; Red Knots scouring the beaches along the Delaware Bay; or colorful warblers traveling north from the tropics, the arrival of migratory birds comes with great anticipation. Every spring, we make special...

Marsh Musings – Summer 2023

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Time – it keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future. Truer words are hard to find. And so, we are on the cusp of another busy summer season. There is comfort to the rhythm and I am surrounded by constant reminders of the symphony of the seasons – and one of my favorites is the transition from...

Creating a Lasting Connection

by Jessica Ward, Wetlands Institute Supporter Every summer since I was born, I’ve stayed with my family in Stone Harbor, and in those twenty-one summers, there has never been a year that did not include countless days visiting The Wetlands Institute. When I was young, my parents and I would spend any sunny day walking down the path to the water,...

The Marshketeers Close out Another World Series of Birding

by Devin Griffiths, Marketing & Communications Specialist Saturday, May 13, 3:00 AM. Though the sun is still hours from rising, The World Series of Birding is on, and for The Marshketeers, our band of intrepid birders, it’s deja vu. They catch the first birds of the day from a team member’s driveway in the blackness of pre-dawn – Carolina...

Research Assistants Join the Research and Conservation Team

by Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Director of Research and Conservation This summer we are lucky to have two Research Assistants adding to projects in our Coastal Bird and Diamondback Terrapin programs. They each bring experience and energy that is helping our team get all the good work done! Christine Albrecht, a recent graduate from Stockton University, is...