Grant Awarded to Study Diamondback Terrapins

The National Park Foundation recently announced Gulf Islands National Seashore, in partnership with the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), as a recipient of a 2010 Impact Grant.  Recognizing that sometimes the smallest grants can make the largest difference, this program was designed to support parks with programs and initiatives in need of additional funding up to $10,000.  This year, the National Park Foundation has awarded over $200,000 in grants to 24 national park units including Gulf Islands National Seashore–Grand Bay NERR.

In a collaborative effort, Gulf Islands and Grand Bay received funding to evaluate the distribution and status of diamondback terrapins.  Mississippi diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin pileata), a medium sized species of turtle endemic to coastal salt marshes, are documented throughout Gulf Islands and Grand Bay; however, little is known about their current population status.  A thorough study of diamondback terrapins, a species of special concern in Mississippi, is needed to develop informed and effective recommendations for management and conservation of this species.

“The Impact Grant program has become an incredibly effective tool for the National Park Foundation to meet the needs within the national parks,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.  “Through this unique program, we are seeing extraordinary results born from great need, creativity, and ingenuity.”

From Glacier National Park in Alaska to the Everglades National Park in Florida, park units with smaller-scale projects consisting of trail maintenance, public safety, service learning, environmental education among other critical objectives, are receiving funding they require to initiate, proceed, or complete their projects.

For more information about the National Park Foundation and each of the grants awarded in 2010, go to


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