Terrapin Blitz Set For June 9-10

BERLIN — Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) is partnering with the Terrapin Work Group, composed of terrapin researchers and managers in  Maryland, in looking for volunteers to participate in the 2nd Annual Diamondback Terrapin Blitz on June 9-10. Rain date will be the following weekend.

The Diamondback Terrapin may be Maryland’s state reptile and the mascot for the University of Maryland, but its current population status in the coastal bays is poorly understood.  In an effort to better understand its status both organizations are coordinating an annual blitz.

The blitz will consist of surveys in the Coastal Bays including brackish water creeks and branches. Surveys need to be conducted by crews in the water, either by motorized boats or canoes and kayaks. New to the count this year will be several land locations for those who do not have access to water vehicles but would like to participate.

Organizers are looking for boat owners who can provide the transport, experienced water people who are able to identify turtles in the water (terrapins are the only turtle occupying brackish/salt water, but other turtles, such as snapping turtles, may venture into more brackish water) and a person who can accurately fill out survey forms in the field.

MCBP will provide a brief training and paperwork for those interested in participating, Saturday, June 9 at 9 a.m. at the MCBP office parking lot located in Teal Marsh Shopping Center on Route 611. For those unable to participate in the training but interested in participating in the count, please make arrangements prior to the dates and a MCBP staff member will provide required paperwork and information.

Locations of surveys will depend on the number of crews that are available.  If you have an interest in participating in the survey, contact Sandi Smith, sandis@mdcoastalbays.org or 410-641-2297 ext. 107 and indicate if you have a boat (include size and where the boat is located), or if you would like to be an observer, or scribe.  

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