Our terrapins suffer from a serious loss of habitat.
New Jersey has experienced "explosive" development of its wetlands. When wetlands are filled and covered for the construction of buildings, the terrapins lose their homes. Our community of Somers Point provides a good example of the rapid growth and development in our region. We are losing open space rapidly.
Our terrapins suffer when they cross the highways.
The female terrapins are crossing the highways in the spring in order to find sandy soil to lay their eggs. The terrapins are crossing the highways during the busiest time of our tourist season. Satellite images help us understand the number of roads crossing our wetlands.
Our terrapins suffer from drowning in crab traps.
Terrapins are attracted to the many commercial crab traps sitting in the bottom of coastal waterways. The terrapins are able to enter the crab trap but can not find their way out. They will drown if the crab trap is not checked daily.
Our terrapins suffer from pollution.
Burning fossil fuels causes air pollution and might lead to a Greenhouse Effect. Water pollution includes oil spills from boats. The Delaware River experienced a huge oil spill on November 26, 2004. An oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico threatening one of the richest marine environments in the world. A local issue for seashore towns is storm drains. How do you think street drains might contribute to pollution? How is our town planning for the future to stop this problem?
Can you think of a way to teach people not to dump pollution down the storm drains?
Do turtles in other regions of the world have similiar problems? Explore these sites to discover new solutions to old problems.
Ghost Nets are lost fishing nets that continue to kill marine life. Can you think of ways to solve the problem of lost commercial fishing equipment?
Cartoon Story of Turtles in Vietnam
Learn about Leatherbacks in Costa Rica and play the Turtle Hurdle Game
Sea Turtle Tracking Project
New York Turtle and Tortoise Society