Every year from the end of spring to the middle of summer, mama turtles leave the Atlantic Ocean, head to Margate’s salty marshlands, and lay their eggs. This means traveling over our busy roads to get there. With Jersey Shore beaches opening back up to the public, we expect to see a return to high traffic throughout our area again. Unfortunately, speeding cars make it difficult to see our diamondback terrapin mamas crossing these roads. To help them along, we ask that you stay extra vigilant right now while driving around the Jersey Shore.
Terrapin Alert: Turtle Crossing in Margate
Look out for the bright yellow “Caution – Nesting Turtles” signs along the causeway when you head out to Margate area beach over the next few weeks. Turtle deaths rose from 69 in 2018 to 83 in 2019. With their “near threatened” status on the endangered species list, we’d hate to see their numbers dwindle more. One way you can help keep their numbers up is to heed speed limit signs. (That’s 40 mph in Margate, by the way). Also, if you see a mama turtle making its way along the road, carefully approach it because it might snap at you. Then, when safe to do so, take it to the other side of the road and place it facing the direction it was going before you picked it up.
Bright lights confuse turtles at night as they head back to the ocean, especially the hatchlings. So, if you live along the coastline, please turn your outside lights off for now. This helps the hatchlings make their way to the water much easier. And no matter how cute you think they are, leave the turtles alone. They’re wild animals and must be left alone to thrive in the wild.
How You Can Help Our Local Turtle Population
Interested in symbolically adopting one? Contact the Wetlands Institute. Money raised from adoptions and other donations helps fund research and preservation projects like road patrols. Want to be more “hands on” with your assistance? Volunteer for one of the road patrols you will be seeing along the causeway over the next few weeks. Contact the Margate Terrapin Rescue Project for more information about volunteer opportunities.
List of Restaurants in the Margate/Ventnor Area Open for Outdoor Dining
Governor Murphy is now allowing New Jersey restaurants to open up with outdoor dining available. The following is a list of our local restaurants that you can now visit for sit-down dining. I expect to see more and more restaurants following suit as tourists begin visiting our Jersey Shore beaches over the next few weeks.
- Bocca (on Ventnor)
- Sofia’s (on Amherst)
- Ventnor’s Greenhouse (next to Lucy the Elephant)
- Annette’s (on Dorsett)
- Santucci’s (on Ventnor)