Earth Day on Kiawah

Earth day on Kiawah

 As a steward of the earth, you are invited to have fun & help an endangered marsh turtle on Earth Day on Kiawah. We love our turtles, but on Kiawah it’s not just sea turtles. A much smaller, elusive turtle has its own fan base. …the Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin). These beautifully decorated turtles are the only turtles in the world that live in the salt marsh their whole lives.

Throughout their range, terrapins have had a long history of exploitation by humans. For decades they were harvested for turtle soup. Today, thanks to the research of Dr. Whit Gibbons and Dr. Michael Dorcas, we understand that terrapins drown within crab traps and nesting females succumb to road mortality. In addition, degradation of nesting areas has had huge impact on their population.

To highlight this endangered wild creature, Kiawah Mayor, Charles R. Lipuma has proclaimed Tuesday, April 22nd as Diamondback Terrapin Day. Our mayor’s proclamation declares that anyone who has an unprotected crab trap can have a Bycatch Reduction Device {BRD} installed free of charge on that day. Our mayor also urges the removal of the trap from the water when not in use. An abandoned crab trap is an endless danger to our terrapins.

Celebrate the 3rd Annual Diamondback Terrapin Day Tuesday, April 22nd at 2pm  to 4pm at the Kiawah Island Town Hall Garage. BRD are available free of charge and if desired can be installed free of charge.  This is an easy installation. No tools, as it’s quick & simple. Every crab trap should have one. There will also be an opportunity to see a live Diamondback Terrapin.

Meanwhile, if you miss the event on Tuesday, April 22nd, you can get a free BRD at Town Hall, the Heron Park Nature Center or local hardware stores during normal business hours.