Sandy Hook's False Tip Closed
The false tip area of Sandy Hook is closed due to safety concerns while the Army Corps of Engineers continues their dredging operations.
Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)
This Jamaica Bay resident, named for its exquisite pattern of diamond-shaped markings upon its shell, is the only turtle in North America that lives strictly in brackish water. Glands that excrete excess salt located behind their eyes help them to adjust to the daily changes in salinity in their environment. The golf-ball sized head of female diamondback terrapins can be spotted bobbing up and down with the waves throughout the waters of the bay through the months of June and July. On a bright sunny day, if you remain still and quiet, you may be lucky enough to catch one on the land laying a clutch of about 10 light pink eggs in the sand. Historically, adult terrapins were once over harvested for their meat. Currently, the biggest threats to their population size include raccoon predation and loss of salt marsh habitat.
Biologists from universities study the terrapin population at Jamaica Bay. If you would like to join the Terrapin Volunteer Program, contact Dr. Russell L. Burke at Hofstra University.
Did You Know?
Did you know that many celebrities visited Fort Hancock in World War II? Judy Garland performed for the soldiers at Fort Hancock in 1943. Lana Turner also visited the fort during the war. More...