Diamondback Terrapins live all over Long Island and according to a local chapter of the Audubon Society these turtles with distinctive diamond-shaped grids that run across their shells might be the only one of its kind in the whole world to live exclusively in brackish water, like the salt marshes, tidal creeks and estuaries we find right here.
Local groups have taken to protecting Diamondback Terrapins, either by protecting the babies as they cross busy roads or counting and protecting nesting areas on local beaches.
This Saturday, the Oyster Bay Town is partnering with Friends of the Bay to host a Diamondback Terrapin Monitoring and Beach Cleanup Day from 9 – 11am at Centre Island Beach in Bayville (rain date: June 27).
“We recently launched Team Terrapin, a joint project with Friends of The Bay, to help protect this species whose conservation status is ‘Near Threatened,’” said Oyster Bay Town Councilman Tom Hand.
During this Terrapin Monitoring and Beach Cleanup Event, volunteers will be trained to identify signs of nesting terrapins and build protective cages around them. These structures keep natural predators like raccoons and foxes away from the terrapins, thus contributing to their survival. Alternatively, volunteers will also have the option to participate in a beach cleanup.
All those interested in participating must register in advance online by clicking here.