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Marsh Musings – Winter 2020-2021

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director As I think about the final quarter of 2020, I do so with weary eyes. This has been a year of challenges for The Wetlands Institute. I know that most, if not all of you can relate because of the challenges faced by you and your families. The Wetlands Institute faced the stress of closure and remote work...

Building Strong: Achieving Our Endowment Goal

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Last year, The Wetlands Institute celebrated its 50th Anniversary. We looked back and honored all those that came before us and acknowledged their wisdom and leadership to protect these wildlands and lay a foundation for research, conservation, and education that transcends us all. In celebration, The...

How We Built This: Virtual Field Trips

by Erin Rawls, Outreach Coordinator For the Education Department, like so many others, this year is all about adaptation. Shifting our field trips into a virtual space has been no exception. Though this process has been demanding, the virtual programs so far have received great feedback. Virtual field trip programming is an exciting new way to be...

A Letter From the NEHST

by Sue Slotterback, Environmental Educator Dear Parents, Grandparents, Teachers, Aunts and Uncles of the very best kind, and to you who are facing the uncertainties and concerns of our children’s education: Much of the conversation about education these days has been equated to “building the plane while flying it”, which is obviously...

reTURN the Favor: One crab, two crabs… half a million horseshoe crabs and more

by Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Director of Research and Conservation Each spring, the Delaware Bay plays host to one of nature’s great spectacles as hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs – the largest concentration in the world – come ashore to spawn. They are followed by countless migrating shorebirds that descend on the Bay beaches to feed on the...

Wading Around the Marsh

by Sam Collins, Research Scientist Spend any time around a marsh and you’ll come across a familiar sight: Elegant, long-legged birds wandering among the grasses or hunting in the shallow water. These birds – herons and egrets – are some of the wetlands’ most iconic species. They belong to a group known as wading birds, which includes cranes,...

Army Corps issues advisory for New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway dredging

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 15, 2020) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District has issued an advisory regarding ongoing dredging along the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway. The Army Corps’ contractor Barnegat Bay Dredging Company is conducting dredging in the federal channel of the waterway between markers 386 to 397 (west of Avalon and...

Reimagining Remote Learning With The Wetlands Institute

Stone Harbor, NJ – On September 17, The Wetlands Institute kicks off the 2020-2021 season of its Nature Education for Homeschool Students and Teachers (NEHST) program. For nearly two decades, The Wetlands Institute has provided homeschoolers with engaging learning experiences that immerse them in science and nature, and encourage exploration and...

Behind the Virtual Scenes

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director, and Devin Griffiths, Marketing & Communications Specialist This has been quite a year. Coming out of 2019 with all the pomp and celebration of our 50th Anniversary, we were poised to seize the opportunity to create excellence for the next 50 years. Driven by the outpouring of support and passion for...

Marsh Musings – Autumn 2020

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director It’s hard to believe the “summer that wasn’t” has come to a close. It has certainly been an unusual year thus far, and one I would like to put behind us. The quiet building is certainly something we are not used to during the summer. We finally were able to open to the public on July 1 and welcome you...

Extreme Makeover: Salt Marsh Trail Edition

by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development The Wetlands Institute is a place of education, research and conservation, where people from all walks of life come to learn about the surrounding salt marshes. Over the past few months, The Wetlands Institute has been working to update and enhance weathered signage that was...

Finding Our Voices – It’s in Our Nature

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director The strangest things happen when you least expect it. As we transitioned our largest fund-raiser, the Summer Celebration, from an in-person to a virtual event, we focused on how best to tell our story. Our story is that “It’s In Our Nature” – to preserve, protect and steward marshes and coastal...

An Autumn to Remember: School Reimagined

by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development As a return to the 2020-2021 academic school year commences, an all, or nearly all, virtual learning environment becomes reality for both formal and non-formal educators alike. At The Wetlands Institute, our early endeavors into remote and virtual learning, including our Summer Nature...

Around the Marsh: Research & Conservation

by Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Director of Research & Conservation In our sphere, changing plans is a common practice due to weather, tides, behavior of the animals we work with, and new information learned. It’s the nature of the work we do. This year, our powers of adaption were put to a new test. Lucky for us, we are a group passionate about the...

Tidepool Shop – Autumn 2020

If you've missed the physical book and gift store here at The Wetlands Institute, we have great news: the Tidepool Shop has reopened! On Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30-4:30, you can browse the shop again for your favorite items, and check out what's new as well – like the new color of our popular Terrapin Conservation Project T-shirt. It's the...

Rediscovering Summer at The Wetlands Institute

Stone Harbor, NJ – For the summer of 2020, The Wetlands Institute launched an exciting new nature discovery experience – the Summer Nature Program Adventure Chest. An adaptation of its popular and much-loved Summer Nature Program, the once-weekly Adventure Chests provide nature explorers aged 4-13 the Institute’s traditional Summer Nature Program...

A Visit to the Enchanted Isles: TWI’s Excursion to a Nature Lover’s Paradise

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Just weeks before the world changed so dramatically, Dr. Lisa Ferguson and I had the privilege of hosting a trip of exploration and discovery to Ecuador, the Galápagos, and Peru. We were joined on our sold-out trip by 19 fellow explorers and friends of the Institute, and all had the experience of a...

2020’s World Series of Birding Draws to a Successful Close

by Devin Griffiths, Marketing & Communications Specialist On Saturday, May 9 - the coldest May day in recent memory – TWI’s team of intrepid birders, The Marshketeers, gave up sleep and braved the weather to spend 24 hours birding for conservation during NJ Audubon’s World Series of Birding. COVID-19 presented some significant challenges this...

Marsh Musings – Summer 2020

Never Waste a Good Crisisby Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director Boy, what to even say. As I reflect on the past few months, I can say with certainty that this has been an incredibly trying time for The Wetlands Institute. My thoughts about leadership during a crisis of this magnitude have evolved quite rapidly and I can finally say I think I...

Seven Mile Island Innovation Lab and the Restoration of Sturgeon Island

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director As we have reported in the past, TWI is part of a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Philadelphia District, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) that has developed the Seven Mile Island Innovation Lab...

Aquarium Update: Hank in the Tank

by Danielle Meeker, Aquarist/Environmental Educator Say hello to Hank, the newest addition to our Secrets of the Salt Marsh Aquarium! Hank was donated to The Wetlands Institute by Jeff Martin, Marine Science teacher at Lower Cape May Regional High School. Octopus are extremely curious and playful and Hank is no exception. Whenever we walk into...

Our Approach to Coping With COVID

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director As Seven Mile Island and the rest of our region debate when and how to reopen, The Wetlands Institute is working diligently to be ready to welcome you back when we are able. We, like so many other organizations and businesses, have been significantly impacted by the quarantine, but we are committed to...

Discover Your Summer Nature Program Adventure Chest

by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development As the early realities of this pandemic unfolded, Education staff were planning several different Summer Nature Program scenarios that included delaying the start of the program, operating programs at reduced levels, and/or cancelling the program this summer, among others. As we...

Virtual Connections in a Hands-on Experiential World

by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development Necessity is the mother of invention. It sounds cliché, but in the evolving and uncertain landscape of environmental education today, this sentiment is extremely applicable. For more than 50 years, a visit to The Wetlands Institute has been a hands-on, feet wet educational experience....

Welcome Jeff Dix

Jeff Dix, a South Jersey native, joined The Wetlands Institute as our Maintenance Technician in February 2020. Growing up along – and often in – South Jersey's bays and tidal creeks, he quickly developed a great love of the outdoors – a love that he's never lost. Having over 30 years of experience in carpentry (he recently retired from the...