Since its foundation in 1969, The Wetlands Institute has engaged in a wide variety of research projects pertaining to the habitats, processes, and wildlife of the local barrier beach and wetland ecosystems.

Research & Conservation

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Wetlands Health & Restoration

Coastal marshes, tidal creeks, and bays are the cradle of life. They host a phenomenal diversity
of wildlife, are nursery grounds for fish and shellfish, and are crucial to coastal resilience, offering protection against damage and reducing loss of life during storm surge and flooding. Marshes thrive in a delicate balance with sea level, which is now rising faster than they can respond to. Our research is documenting marsh response to sea level rise and we are working to restore drowning marshes.

Diamondback Terrapin Conservation

For over 20 years the Terrapin Conservation Program has promoted the conservation of Diamondback Terrapins in southern New Jersey through applied research, citizen science projects, and formal and informal educational programs. Research activities focus on assessing the impacts human activities to the local terrapin population and the application and development of novel methods to reduce impacts.
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Coastal Bird Conservation

The Wetlands Institute is located in Cape May County, an area world-renowned for its abundance and diversity of birds. Studying habitat use in this critical location is central to understanding long-term population trends. We create and restore bird habitat through the work of the Seven Mile Island Innovation Lab (SMIIL), and monitor habitat usage to understand resource needs, availability, and restoration effectiveness. We have a long history of studying local avian populations, and we strive to make contributions that inform avian conservation and management.  Learn more.

Horseshoe Crab Conservation

Since 1991, The Wetlands Institute has brought scientists and volunteers together to conduct surveys of the ecologically vital Horseshoe Crab population on the New Jersey side of Delaware Bay. The Wetlands Institute is one of many organizations that conduct surveys of spawning Horseshoe Crabs in both New Jersey and Delaware.
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Early Career Mentorship & Training

The Wetlands Institute is building strong conservation leaders by offering high school and undergraduate internships in coastal conservation and research and education. We provide tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to broaden their skills and dive into the work we do here, contributing to our existing projects and programs and developing research projects of their own. CCRP interns are mentored by research scientists on a wide variety of projects, conduct independent research projects, and present results at our annual Intern Symposium. 

Research & Conservation

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Membership connects you with the wetlands and helps sustain our lifesaving work. Become a member or renew your support today.