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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...

Marsh Musings – Spring 2021

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director With winter drawing to a close and the promise of spring on the horizon, 2021 is rapidly coming into focus. As an organization, we are faced again with a complex landscape of external factors that will shape day-to-day operations and our future planning. I have come to think of 2020 as a reactive year. It...

Our Managed Beaches

by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director The interface between land and sea is a magical place and the lure of the coast is undeniably strong. There are volumes of research out there seeking to prove that as humans, we have an innate draw to the sea. For so many of us, we don’t need proof. The beach is our happy place. It’s a place of wonderful...

Coastal Conservation Research Program Internship

The Coastal Conservation Research Program (CCRP) offers a 10-week summer internship program for undergraduate students hosted at The Wetlands Institute on the Cape May Peninsula of southern New Jersey. Located on 6,000 acres of coastal salt marsh and in close proximity to Atlantic coast barrier island and Delaware Bay beaches, The Wetlands...

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,...