Turtle Time: Release Day at the Wetlands Institute

It's Friday afternoon and we know what you need: Baby turtles! Lots of em!

I spent yesterday morning at The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, watching juvenile diamondback terrapins be released into the coastal marshes near 7 Mile Island.

When nesting female turtles get crushed on the road, good samaritans bring them in, and the Institute harvests the eggs, incubates them and then raises they babies until they're ready to brave the wild. 

Billy Brown will have a full report in next month's Grid, but for now, enjoy these adorable shots. For more on the Terrapin Conservation Project, click here.

Kindergarten students from a local school got their hands wet

The terrapins mentally prepare for freedom

 

Yeah, there was a guy in a turtle suit. Being an intern must be awesome.

Big turtle holds little turtle, impresses all

While walking to the release point, we came across a mama terrapin nesting right in the middle of the path. I haven't seen focus like that since AI destroyed the Lakers in Game 1.

Free at last!

Careful there kid!

Off he goes

Adjusting to the new surroundings

What a beautiful day at the Jersey Shore