STONE HARBOR — The Wetlands Institute has once again been awarded a grant by the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) for its work to protect Northern Diamondback Terrapin populations in South Jersey. The Disney Conservation Fund is proud to continue providing critical support to community-led projects creating a healthier home for people and wildlife. Since 1995, the DCF has been supporting efforts in diverse communities around the world aimed at saving wildlife, inspiring action, and protecting the planet, and has distributed more than $120 million to nonprofit organizations.
The Wetlands Institute has been at the forefront of diamondback terrapin conservation since the establishment of its Terrapin Conservation Project 1989, and the DCF has provided support for its work since 2012. Through this program, the Institute carries out and engages the community in conservation measures including road patrols during the nesting season, head-starting hatchlings, storm drain rescues, terrapin barrier fence installation and maintenance, and reduction of crab trap impacts through bycatch reduction device distribution. The DCF grant provides critical resources to continue these efforts, deepen community engagement, and enhance initiatives to educate the public on local conservation issues through public programming, exhibits, and comprehensive terrapin-based learning modules and educational materials.
“Disney’s continued support of our efforts to conserve and study diamondback terrapins in New Jersey is vitally important to our work,” said Brian Williamson, Research Scientist at The Wetlands Institute. “With DCF support, we will expand our efforts to address protection of terrapins from the pressing threat of sea-level rise, continue to reduce impacts from persistent threats on roads and in waterways give undergraduate students hands-on research and conservation experience, and educate the public on the importance of the diamondback terrapin for salt marsh ecosystems.”
DCF grant recipients are selected based on their efforts to implement comprehensive community wildlife conservation programs, stabilize and increase populations of at-risk animals and engage communities in conservation in critical ecosystems around the world.
For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature and a complete list of grant recipients, visit Disney.com/Conservation.