Port Deposit-TU Northern Map Turtle Station

Since the start of the project in 2008, the field station has provided opportunities for student research, including graduate student master’s theses and over 23 undergraduate internships and research experiences.

Located in the river town of Port Deposit in Cecil County, MD, the historic Tome Gas House fronts the Susquehanna River and is conveniently located near multiple attractions, including the Conowingo Dam and Susquehanna State Park. Originally used to generate power, the building has been restored to provide a space for endangered northern map turtle research/public education and the town’s welcome center. The field station provides researchers with research space and living quarters.

Partnership with Port Deposit

Towson University research began in Port Deposit in 2008 when community members spotted northern map turtles crossing a marina parking lot attempting to nest. One of those turtles spotted is Rhonda, the official mascot of the town of Port Deposit. The following video shows her journey to cross the marina parking lot. Soon after, a formal partnership between the town of Port Deposit and Towson University formed with the goal of protecting the turtle population and assisting ecotourism. This partnership has resulted in multiple projects to increase habitat quality for northern map turtles, including restoration of the nesting beach, installation of a wildlife exclusion fence and nesting mounds.

Interested in the different ways you can help support TU and the northern map turtles? 

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Back on the Map

Watch this video to see how the Department of Biology is helping the endangered northern map turtle.