Friday, July 1, 2011

Episode 70 (July 4, 2011): Diamondback Terrapins and a Terrapin Rap

Click to listen to episode (2:20) 

Please see below (after the transcript) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT: From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 20, 2011.

This week we feature a song by Connecticut kids who have a soft spot for a hard-shelled animal that’s well known around the Chesapeake Bay.  Have a listen for about 30 seconds.

You’ve been listening to Terrapin Rap #1, by two Stamford, Connecticut, middle-schoolers participating in a project on Diamondback Terrapins.  Since 2008, Stamford students have been learning about these turtles and documenting their work through photos, video, and music.  Here in Virginia, also, people are interested in Diamondback Terrapins, which range from Massachusetts to Texas and were once abundant in the Chesapeake Bay, but whose populations appear to have been significantly reduced by harvests for food and by accidental capture in  crab pots.  This summer the Virginia Herpetological Society and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are using trained volunteers to conduct the Commonwealth’s first-ever statewide Diamondback Terrapin survey around the coastal marshes, bays, and lagoons where these animals live.  The survey will fill in gaps in our knowledge of terrapin populations and help focus actions to protect this popular reptile.

Thanks to Jim Forde of Scofield Magnet School in Stamford for permission to use this week's music.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

Show notes:  The Diamondback Terrapin activities by Stamford, Conn., students are documented at  The source for this episode’s information on Diamondback Terrapins was the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Sea Turtles Web site and the Maryland Sea Grant Web site.  The 2011 Virginia survey dates and locations were June 11-12 in Northampton County, June 18-19 in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, June 24-25 in Newport News and York County, July 9-10 in Gloucester and Mathews counties, and July 16-17 in Lancaster and Northumberland counties.

Note added 5-26-22: Diamondback Terrapins are the subject of the feature story in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of Coastal Heritage, from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium.  The magazine is available online at

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at
Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and  Other Events, online at  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.