by Jon Tullis, Wetlands Institute Board Member

Stone Harbor and Seven Mile Island have been treasured spots for me since childhood. I’m one of those having a favorite relative – an aunt, in my case – who owns a family place on the Island. Aunt Peg is a favorite because she’s enlightened, she’s fun to be with, is a great cook – and yes, because she invites me to Stone Harbor… often.

Throughout the years, I’ve completely enjoyed all that the Island offers: Its beaches, its waterways, vistas, communities (both seasonal and year-round), eateries (candle-lit dinners for special evenings, takeout for casual meals at home), and on and on!

In my earlier years, I did not know of The Wetlands Institute; I did not contemplate environmental issues then… nor fully understand what challenges climate change would be bringing to our environments. I just enjoyed all the benefits… thoroughly. I just assumed they’d always be here… unfortunately!

However, fortunately, now I am familiar with The Wetlands Institute. Now I’m learning of the environmental challenges that we all face, and of the many opportunities before us – opportunities that the Institute’s research, educational, and outreach programs encompass. And I’m learning of the many promising findings of the Institute through its extensive, in-our-marshes, research-leaning collaborations with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the State of New Jersey, University of Penn, and others.

These days, I’m a regular Institute volunteer. I rollup sleeves and help however, whenever, and wherever I can. I do admit though, one of the reasons I volunteer is a bit selfish. Of course I want to help protect the marshes, enhance the animal life, maintain the waterways and vistas… but I also want to protect our family home and our future family gatherings here in Stone Harbor.

One of the many howevers for me, fellow Wetlands Institute friends, is contributing to the Institute – partly because I recognize that its work is critically important, and partly because I recognize that supporting TWI simultaneously supports my family and this community I treasure.

If you currently support and contribute to the Institute… thank you! If you’re not a supporter yet, won’t you please consider it? A contribution of any amount makes a difference. Thank you for helping to support The Wetlands Institute!