Avalon Awarded Grant for Terrapin Project

Last Edited: May 12, 2018 11:04 AM
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The Borough of Avalon has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Sustainable Jersey program for an expansion of the Avalon Terrapin Project. 

The grant was provided to the Borough on Tuesday, May 8th, at a Sustainable Jersey grant announcement event in Edison.

The grant was presented to Avalon Green Team Chairperson Nina Ranalli and Avalon Business Administrator Scott Wahl. The grant is the highest awarded annually by the Sustainable Jersey program.

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“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the award and deeply appreciative of the Sustainable Jersey program, and to the PSEG Foundation who funds these grant requests,” said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. 

“This grant will help us work together with our environmental partners and with our citizens who are motivated to continue our progressive approach to protecting female terrapins as they search for suitable nesting areas."

The Avalon Borough Council approved the grant application in February 2018.

The application included a new terrapin nesting area on the west side of Ocean Drive between Avalon’s Bay Park Marina and the Avalon Kayak Park. Citizens who live near the area have been engaged in protecting the female terrapins who manage to cross Ocean Drive in an easterly direction and nest on lawns and private property.

This project will result in the creation of a more suitable nesting area so the terrapins do not have to cross Ocean Drive; those crossings typically result in terrapin loss from motor vehicle traffic and other hazards.

“Nothing beats seeing a great idea turned into a reality, especially when that dream realizes benefits for communities and the environment. These grants support green teams and municipalities working at the local level to create vibrant and sustainable communities,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey.

“The grants we awarded will build capacity as municipalities move sustainability programs forward and work toward the goal of a more sustainable New Jersey."

The PSEG Foundation has contributed $1.5 million in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools.

“PSEG is committed to supporting communities in their efforts to provide sustainable neighborhoods and economic development,” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation. “Our ongoing partnership with Sustainable Jersey helps bring real change and has a lasting impact to neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.” 

The Borough of Avalon has been twice certified in the Sustainable Jersey program, which empowers local communities to embrace environmentally responsible and sustainable practice in all levels of government. 

The new habitat was created by the Taylor Design Group, of Mt. Laurel, with generous input from the Wetlands Institute of Stone Harbor and stakeholders who live near the site. 

The application was endorsed by many Avalon organizations including the Avalon Environmental Commission, the Avalon Home and Land Owners Association, and the Avalon Green Team.

“Our goal is to create a pilot project based on science that helps to reduce the attrition of the female terrapins and increase the opportunities for the offspring to survive,” Pagliughi said. 

“We are hopeful the science and research in Avalon will provide a model to be replicated in other parts of New Jersey, and the United States”.

For years, Avalon has implemented black cylindrical turtle fencing along the Borough’s portion of Avalon Boulevard to prevent turtles from coming into harm’s way via vehicular traffic. 

Avalon also proactively promotes what steps the public may take shall a terrapin find itself in harm’s way. Only four grants were awarded totaling $20,000 in this round of grant funding.

For more information, visit avalonboro.net. 

The Avalon/Sustainable Jersey/PSEG delegation in the photo from left to right are:

  • Randall Solomon, Executive Director, Sustainable Jersey
  • Edward Mahaney, Secretary, Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees
  • Scott Wahl, Business Administrator, Borough of Avalon
  • Nina Ranalli, Chairperson, Avalon Green Team
  • Maria Spina, Program Officer, PSEG Foundation
  • Michael Schmid, Division Manager, Central Division, PSE&G

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