Jerry and Diane Hequembourg, having moved to Cape Cod in 2004, seem never to know an idle moment. Familiar with the area around their SEANET beach from many years of family vacations, they have now immersed themselves in Cape ecology and conservation. Jerry, a dedicated volunteer with our collaborators at Massachusetts Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, helps out with marine life cruises, and both Jerry and Diane assist with monitoring of Diamondback Terrapins and with surveys for debilitated sea turtles that frequently strand on Cape Cod beaches when the weather, and the water, turn cold come Fall in New England.
When not contributing their time and energy to these efforts, Diane runs a long arm quilting business, and Jerry keeps himself busy jogging, biking and kayaking.
Despite all this, Diane and Jerry manage to consistently carve out time for SEANET surveys, and we always look forward to reports from their territory since our Cape Cod Bay beaches tend to turn up all sorts of flotsam and jetsam, including a dead finback whale that washed up in January. A necropsy report showed that the whale had died of parasitic worms infesting both kidneys!
The beach itself is typical Cape Cod–comprised mainly of sand and grassy areas. In winter, only a handful of hardy souls venture out into the cold, but come summer, the throngs of Cape tourists appear, increasing beach usage by up to ten times. Dogs are permitted on a portion of the beach, and scavengers of various sorts, both mammalian and avian, vie with Jerry and Diane for first dibs on beached birds. So far this year, their beach has turned up a Thick-Billed Murre carcass and the wing of a male Common Eider. Common Eiders have been turning up dead along Cape Cod shores in the past week or so, and tomorrow’s blogpost will discuss a bit more about what appears to be happening out there.
Our appreciation goes out to Diane and Jerry for their dedication to SEANET, and to the countless other projects to which they generously donate their time. Thanks to you both!