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And Now… for the Rest of the Story

by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development So much of what makes outdoor and environmental education impactful, and real, relies on the interaction of participant, educator and outdoor experience, all working in concert to create a genuine human connection to the environment. It is the sights, the smells, the sounds, the...

Marsh Musings – Winter 2021-2022

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Fall is in full swing as I write this and the marshes are a vibrant golden color this morning. Later stage migrants are moving through and the wintering waterfowl and raptors are returning to the marsh. It’s a beautiful time, and while the shortening days are harbingers of the winter to come, it’s also a...

The Lasting Legacy of Lemonade

by Rae Griffiths, Office Assistant What do Carly Baniewicz, Ava Dorfner and the Dougherty siblings have in common? They are all young nature-lovers who chose The Wetlands Institute (TWI) to benefit from their entrepreneurial spirit this past summer. And what better way to celebrate summer than with a lemonade stand! Carly Baniewicz from Malvern,...

Live From the Field: Expanding our Virtual Programs

by Erin Rawls, Outreach Coordinator Setting up a Wetlands livestream. Photo Credit: Steve Scheff, Seasonal Naturalist This past spring, The Wetlands Institute booked over 30 virtual field trip programs, reaching nearly 1,500 students in classrooms across the mid-Atlantic. Along with the exciting possibilities of virtual field trips came the need...

Showcasing Our Finest

by Danielle Meeker, Aquarist & Environmental Educator A few months ago, The Wetlands Institute (TWI) had the pleasure of hosting Sean McVey, a photographer from North Jersey who specializes in taking detailed pictures of animals against a white or blackback drop. The result are images that capture many animal characteristics often overlooked...

Adventure Awaits

by Michelle Rebilas, Environmental Educator “The marsh mud will wash off, but the memories will last a lifetime!” I shout as I lead a group of curious, yet hesitant, Scouts and chaperones onto The Wetlands Institute’s “Muddy Trail” in search of our famous fiddler crabs. Immediate squeals erupt as the mud squishes beneath their shoes. Before long,...

From the Marsh to the Forest

Monitoring and Management in Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary by Brian Williamson, Research Scientist When you think of The Wetlands Institute’s research and conservation efforts, you probably think of our work to study and protect our local salt marshes and the animals that inhabit them. However, staff at The Wetlands Institute also work on projects...

Around the Marsh

Our Wetland Laboratory Serving University Students and Faculty by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director When Herbert Mills founded The Wetlands Institute (TWI), he immediately established it as a biological field station for faculty and students at Leigh University. That productive relationship continued until 1986. In the ensuing years, the...

An Open Statement to Our Constituency

For more than 50 years, The Wetlands Institute has conducted important research, undertaken science-based and informed conservation measures, and used science as a basis for our education programs. All of us at The Wetlands Institute value science and understand the importance of science in informing environmental policy.  As an organization, we...

Hope and Feathers

by Devin Griffiths, Marketing & Communications Specialist There is perhaps no more iconic salt marsh creature than the Osprey. At two feet long and boasting a wingspan greater than five feet, it is a large, majestic bird. From spring through summer, Ospreys are a constant presence in the marsh, a powerful manifestation of Nature at her most...

Marsh Musings – Autumn 2021

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director I write to you today on the 10th Anniversary of my tenure as the Executive Director of The Wetlands Institute (TWI). It’s true that the past decade has seen unprecedented growth, and my mantra of making no small plans has been a guiding principal of the strategy that I have employed. The Institute has...

The Marshes That Bind Us

by Kristen Egan, Development Manager For Jayne Lukens, returning to the wetlands as a Summer Nature Program instructor was much more than a summer job. Lukens grew up in Ocean City, NJ and returned to the area after spending the past five years in Vermont. “I feel at home walking the trails here along the marshes,” shared Lukens, who also...

Around the Marsh

2021 Terrapin Highlightsby Brian Williamson, Research Scientist The summer of 2021 was another successful year for our terrapin research and conservation program. Although it was the 30th year of our terrapin project, we had many firsts this year. For the first time on record, we had a terrapin lay eggs four times on our property in a single...

Welcome to Michelle Rebilas

Hello! My name is Michelle Rebilas and I am the new Environmental Educator at The Wetlands Institute. I am originally from Burlington County, New Jersey and am an alumni of Stockton University with a B.S. in Marine Science. I grew up visiting the beaches in Cape May with my grandparents, rescuing horseshoe crabs on the beach and collecting Cape...

Summer Intern Projects – EE

A Return to Mentorship by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development The Wetlands Institute’s Environmental Education (EE) Interns spent 12 weeks leading public education programs, while immersing themselves in the unique environment of the surrounding salt marsh and barrier islands. They worked hard and through it all developed...

Summer Intern Projects – CCRP

Coastal Conservation Research Programby Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Director of Research & Conservation Six interns joined our 2021 Coastal Conservation Research Program (CCRP) this summer for an intensive hands-on learning experience in the marsh! This year, CCRP interns worked closely with our staff to contribute to long-term projects monitoring the...

A Head Start Starts Here

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director, and Kristen Egan, Development Manager When we talk about our “Head Start Program” we’re usually referring to our terrapin conservation work. While we take great pride in the hundreds of terrapins that we are able to hatch and release each year, we are especially proud of the hundreds of students that...

Marsh Musings – Summer 2021

A Time for Renewalby Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director With summer comes renewal and hopefully the end of a long and difficult time for us all. These past several weeks have brought the first glimpses of a return to more normal times. Visitors are back at the Institute enjoying the wonders of the spring migration and myriad of remarkable...

Providing Certainty in Uncertain Times

by Kristen Egan, Development Manager In 2018, we set a bold goal. As the Institute’s 50th Anniversary approached, it was an ideal moment in our history to build the foundation for the Institute’s long-term fiscal health via an endowment. We recognized the need for long-term program enrichment, sustained funding for core programs, and sought that...

Rallying Behind Research

by Kristen Egan, Development Manager Margaret McAllister’s connection with and care for our coastal community started at a young age. She remembers spending summers on the water teaching swimming and windsurfing at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor (YCSH), which brought exposure to a variety of coastal birds, including some injured ones that she...

2021’s World Series of Birding Draws to a Successful Close

by Devin Griffiths, Marketing & Communications Specialist On Saturday, May 8, The Wetlands Institute’s team of irrepressible birders, The Marshketeers, once again gave up sleep for birds, competing in the 24-hour challenge that is NJ Audubon’s World Series of Birding. After winning the Carbon Footprint Cup last year, The Marshketeers treaded...

Luing Family Internship Program

Coastal Conservation Research Program The 2021 Coastal Conservation Research Program interns have been fully immersed in their summer at the Institute, learning new skills, contributing to our projects, and developing their own individual studies: Terrapin ProjectsCameron Forehand, Clemson University Nicole Fox, Stockton UniversityBrandon Ross,...

New Fellowship Program Provides Invaluable Early Career Preparation

by Kristen Egan, Development Manager We are thrilled to welcome another young scientist eager to work on coastal research and conservation projects and help build on classroom-based knowledge. Chris Dolan is working as a Research Assistant this summer and gaining valuable field experience in avian ecology, as well as exposure to Diamondback...

When Passion and Career Intertwine

by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development For the past nine years, I have had the pleasure of working alongside one of the best environmental educators in the profession – The Wetlands Institute’s Environmental Educator, Sue Slotterback. Sue’s career began long before The Wetlands Institute, but the quality of her programs...

The Synergy of Philanthropy

by Kristen Egan, Development Manager Barbara and Jim Summers have embraced The Wetlands Institute’s mantra of “we make no small plans”. This mantra and vision for the future has inspired their transformative support over many years to the Institute – support that makes bigger plans possible. While spending many summers together in Avalon and...