Turtle Crossing Season along Downbeach Express on Margate Causeway.

Margate Causeway Turtle
Terrapin.

Turtle crossing alert. The Margate causeway once again seeing major terrapin activity, sometimes referred to as a ‘surge’. This is where females turtles (terrapins) make their way onto land to nest.

In 2019, the number of turtle fatalities was up from 69 to 83 total terrapin fatalities along the causeway. This could be due to a turtle population spike. More crossings and sadly, more deaths.

Cars often ignore speed limit of 40 mph on the Margate causeway, better known as the Downbeach Express.

It’s not easy avoiding a turtle when doing 50+ mph.

On the Margate causeway.

Volunteers from the Margate Terrapin Rescue Project are out in force. Patrolling, protecting and repairing turtle barriers designed to keep terrapins off the busy roadway between Margate and Northfield.

While providing a fast way to the shore, building a road thru the natural marshlands of South Jersey has wreaked havoc on wildlife. Specifically terrapins.

Volunteers along the Margate causeway.

Barriers help to deter many terrapins from crossing. Sadly, too many slip thru.

Slow down and save a terrapins life. Wanna help? Sign up to perform daily road patrols along the Margate causeway, better known as the Downbeach Express.

Contact admin@margateterrapinrescue.org

Learn more > The Margate Terrapin Rescue Project.


margate turtle
Repairing barriers along causeway.

See a terrapin in trouble? Safely help move it in the direction it was heading; NOT where it came from. 

Turtle is often used to refer to sea turtles that rarely leave the ocean. … Terrapins are turtles that spend time both on land and in brackish, swampy water. The word “terrapin” comes from an Algonquian Indian word meaning “a little turtle.”


  • Grow to 9 inches from head to tail.
  • Found in coastal marshes
  • Thrive in brackish water (mix of salt & fresh)
  • Diet: insects, worms and clams.
  • Lay up to 14 eggs above high-tide line in warm sand.

Margate Turtle

6 thoughts on “Turtle Crossing Season along Downbeach Express on Margate Causeway.”

  1. Hopefully this year 2020 there will be less fatalities then in 2019! Maybe during the turtle 🐢 crossing season motorists could be more careful and drive slower! Save our Turtles!!

  2. This is a great article. Thank you for writing about the Terrapins and their nesting season. These slow moving creatures are hard to recognize on the road until many times when it is too late. When they are scared they stop on the road and they are hard to recognize. Slow up and please help a terrapin across the road if you can do it safely.

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