by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director

Another summer is screaming by. Part of me can’t believe it’s going by so quickly, while another part of me is excited by all the wonderful accomplishments of the team here. Hundreds of children are exploring the marsh and beach and connecting to nature through Summer Nature Programs. Thousands of visitors are experiencing these fragile ecosystems through guided nature walks, kayak and back bay boat tours, and daily programs. Tens of thousands of horseshoe crabs have been rescued through hundreds of volunteer hours spent on Delaware Bay beaches. Hundreds of orphaned diamondback terrapins are hatching from our incubators to become part of our headstarting program to be cared for by teachers and school children in the Terrapins in the Classroom Program.

On August 6th, we hosted the annual intern symposium and many of us were treated to the presentations of an excellent group of students sharing their summer research or education project. I have always believed in the power of mentored relationships and I know in my heart, that it is these opportunities that can truly make a difference in both our students’ lives and in our own. The work done by this year’s summer interns is incredibly important to the Institute. They have contributed to the collective advancement of our mission and I believe we have provided them with an opportunity to learn something about themselves in the process of learning about what it takes to work in the research, conservation or education fields.

I have always known that it is the conduct of independent research and the completion of independent projects that can spark a lifelong passion, much the way the early experiences of children exploring nature can shape their passions for life. Many of the interns shared stories about how someone in their life sparked their appreciation and love of nature that led them on the journey they are on.
The Institute works to provide a wealth of opportunities for people to connect to nature, for parents to ignite a curiosity in a child. They are ultimately structured to help the Institute achieve one of its core goals to build strong conservation leaders and stewards and continue to support our rich history of stewardship.

If you would like to connect with nature or share a special moment with your child or grandchild, please stop in for a visit. Ask to see me and I would be pleased to talk with you about ways you can become part of the great energy and achievement that is your Wetlands Institute.