Wetlands Institute Named Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Annual Grants Recipient

Stone Harbor, NJ, October 3, 2011 – The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) announced that The Wetlands Institute has been awarded an annual grant to support the Jersey Shore Terrapin Conservation Project.

DWCF awarded $2 million to conservation projects around the globe in 2011, the highest amount ever contributed in a single year. The Wetlands Institute is one of nearly 100 grant recipients recognized for helping to preserve habitats, protect endangered species, foster kids’ connections to nature and ensure future generations can enjoy wildlife and wild places.

With support from DWCF, scientists at The Wetlands Institute look forward to: (1) continuing their efforts to document the mortality rate of the local diamondback terrapin and the impact of roadkills on their population; (2) implementing several conservation practices designed to reduce the total number of terrapin road mortalities; (3) providing scientific training to college and university students from around the country; and (4) engaging the general public through outreach and education activities.

The Wetlands Institute will continue to offer more capacity building opportunities for volunteer organizations working to protect local terrapin populations. In addition, in 2012, the Institute plans to initiate a pilot program where local school teachers develop a terrapin conservation-based curriculum appropriate for the New Jersey core-curriculum standard for science.

“This year’s $2 million milestone is testament to Disney’s commitment to protect the planet and help create connections between kids and nature around the world in 40 countries,” said Dr. Beth Stevens, Senior Vice President, Disney Corporate Citizenship, Environment & Conservation. “We are grateful to the many scientists, educators and community conservationists who devote their lives to conservation and are very proud to work with our guests, fans, employees and cast members to help ensure a better future for our planet.”

About the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

Since 1995, DWCF has awarded nearly $18 million to support conservation programs in 111 countries. Projects selected for funding must address a critical conservation need, offer education and community engagement, an ability to influence decision makers and solid scientific investigation. For a complete list of grant recipients and to view The Walt Disney Company’s most recent Conservation Report, visit www.disney.com/conservation. Learn more about Disney’s citizenship efforts at www.disney.com/citizenship


About The Wetlands Institute

The Wetlands Institute is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) educational and research facility focused on salt marsh and coastal ecosystem preservation. Annually, the Institute educates over 40,000 visitors, of which 9,000 are school aged children. The Wetlands Institute’s mission is to promote appreciation, understanding and stewardship of wetlands and coastal ecosystems through programs in research, education and conservation. The Institute was founded in 1969 by the late Herbert H. Mills, (former Chairman of the Board of the World Wildlife Fund, and Executive Director of the National Audubon Society), to further coastal environmental knowledge. From its inception, the Wetlands Institute has pioneered a number of research, education and conservation programs about wetlands and coastal ecosystems, and worked with numerous regional, national and international organizations to foster stewardship of these resources worldwide. For more information on the Institute, please visit www.wetlandsinstitute.org.

Contact: Dan McLaughlin, Coordinator of Research and Conservation
(609) 368-1211