Dear Members and Friends,
As another year comes to a close, we can reflect on 2011 and the changes that have come to the Wetlands Insti­tute. Cindy O’Connor has done an amazing job of growing and stewarding the organization through her tenure as Executive Director. Now, after 29 years of service, Cindy has retired and the Wetlands Institute is embarking on a new chapter in its great history.

For more than 40 years, the Wetlands Institute has focused on research, conservation and education on coastal and wetland ecosystems. We have a phenomenal heritage and we had a great year. In 2011 we:

  • Hosted more than 100 school groups from throughout the Tri-State area helping kids get outside and experience nature
  • Held over 80 outreach and SEAS (Science Education at Sea) programs bringing traveling touch tanks to students and making boat trips a reality for area youth
  • Had more than 400 students spend part of their summer exploring our beaches, wetlands and tidal creeks doing science
  • Shared the challenges and joys of conservation biology research with 10 undergraduate interns working alongside scientists in the Coastal Conservation Research Program.

There is so much more to do. As 2012 dawns, the Wetlands Institute will be enhancing many of its programs and facilities. We will be expanding the research program to include studies of water quality in our coastal bays and freshwater marshes. The education programs will be growing to help address the critical need we face for high-quality, experiential science education. We are launching a sustainability initiative and are hoping to increase our solar energy production. The gardens are being redesigned to create opportunities for hands-on demonstrations for water conservation and native plantings – while maintaining and enhancing their beauty.

To achieve our goals and dreams for 2012 and beyond, we need your help and we are inviting you to join us as we make a difference. As a private non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, our programs are possible because of the generosity of our members. Our Annual Fund Appeal is the perfect time to change the way a child views the natural world, to help train tomorrow’s scientists, and to make conservation a priority in your life. We are proud of our past accomplishments and look forward to a bright future. Please join us — there are many ways to give.

Please visit the online donation link below to make your tax-deductible year end gift.

Looking forward to a great new year,

Lenore Tedesco, PhD
Executive Director

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