For more than five years Jackie and Tony Raniero have been helping with Project Terrapin at Sedge Island. Because they are on the island more than anyone else they have more opportunity to see the female turtles coming up to lay their eggs than any one else. Tony is always watching as he mows the grass around the prime-nesting site. But, like all scientific research this involves more work than merely watching for the turtles to walk up on the grass. Jackie is skilled in capturing and tagging the terrapins. She even devised a method of quick visual identification of turtles that is now being used in other parts of the country. In addition, for several years, she has taught people from visiting groups about her work with Project Terrapin.
On August 21st a group of people from the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Drexel University, MATES, present and former Sedge staff members, joined John Wnek, Project Terrapin Coordinator, on the island to honor Tony and Jackie. Just before the group arrived, Jackie called John to report that the first hatchling of the year was emerging from the nest. Little did she know that John and the group were on their way to the island as she was on the phone. While we were enjoying cake and other refreshments, we took a break to gather outside to see several other hatchlings emerge from the nest. The day was a complete success for both humans and terrapins.