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From The Cape May County Herald

STONE HARBOR MANOR — The 28th annual Wings ‘N’ Water Festival drew crowds on Sat., Sept. 18 to the Wetlands Institute, on Stone Harbor Boulevard here. It continues through Sun., Sept. 19 at various locations on Seven Mile Beach, but centered at the Institute, 1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard.

Dr. Roger Wood introduced “the world’s only fuzzy turtle” a mascot Diamondback terrapin to a waiting crowd at 1 p.m. on the dock overlooking the Back Bay. Shortly thereafter, a number of yearling terrapins were released, having been raised from eggs taken from mothers who had been killed on area causeways the prior summer.

The mascot received lots of hugs and handshakes from children and adults who also watched the retriever demonstration from the same location. There, they watched as working dogs showed how they are used to fetch waterfowl for hunters.

Tom Smith, whose Chesapeake Bay retriever “Bullwinkle,” was putting on an early show, said he looks forward to the annual festival, as do his dogs, who join those from Canalside Retrievers from Cold Spring to produce the brief exhibitions.

Under the big white tent, the world-famed Peabody Ducks, which will perform on Stone Harbor’s 96th Street at 5 p.m., were the darlings of many who went to see the marching ducks relax in a small artificial pond.

Elsewhere on the grounds, fly fishing demonstrations were given, and wines were sampled from a number of regional vineyards.

Animals from the Philadelphia Zoo were brought close to curiosity seekers who wanted to get close to the “wings” portion of the festival. One of those who brought them was Dan Hoffman, educator, who explained the red tail hawk to the crowd.

Off campus, there will be a quilt show through Sunday at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 95th and Third avenues. The works of cloth art are one of the highlights of the show for many who attend.

Avalon Community Hall, accessible via trolley from the Institute, was the place to see intricate shorebird carvings and decoys.

The Wetlands Institute is the sole beneficiary of the festival. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote appreciation, understanding and stewardship of wetlands and coastal ecosystems through programs in research, education and conservation.

Funding is from memberships, programs, gifts and grants.