Click one of the stars on the map below to read more about the state's featured projects. Or click the names of the color-coded Priority Areas in the key to learn more about GLARO's conservation focus. The blue dots represent one or more conservation projects on which DU has worked. Project information comes from annual state Conservation Reports, available in our Resource Library.
Delaware by the Numbers (as of 01/01/10)
- Total acres conserved: 13,956
- Technical assistance acres: 11,193
- Amount spent on projects: $2,368,870
You can find additional statistics on Delaware's state fact sheet.
Meet Delaware's Biologist
Kurt Anderson has worked for DU since May 2007. Initially a conservation intern at the Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office in Ann Arbor, Mich., he assumed the role of biologist for Delaware and New Jersey in October of that year. Kurt holds a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and has a diverse array of experience working with conservation partners, private landowners and stakeholder groups. He aided in the development of Michigan's Revised Wolf Management Plan, facilitated white-tailed deer focus group meetings and studied waterfowl nesting ecology in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Kurt is an avid bird hunter and outdoor enthusiast.
34 Defense Street, Suite 200
Annapolis, MD 21401
Great Cypress Swamp restoration 426 acres strong…and growing
The Great Cypress Swamp is located in the southernmost portion of Sussex County, Delaware. Blanketing over 13,000 acres, it is the largest remaining tract of contiguous forest on the Delmarva Peninsula and is one of its most unique wetland resources. Sadly, while portions of the Great Cypress Swamp are still partially inundated during wet years, its natural hydrology has been dramatically altered. A vast network of drainage ditches excavated to accommodate agriculture and timber harvest have disrupted complex drainage patterns and diminished both the extent and ecological function of the area.
Several years’ worth of concerted effort culminated in the 2009 restoration of 426 acres in the Great Cypress Swamp. Delaware Wild Lands (DWL), which owns and manages over 11,000 acres there, joined forces with Ducks Unlimited (DU), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delaware Bay Estuary Project and Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Center for the Inland Bays, and others to strategically install six water control structures and five ditch plugs aimed at retaining outflow and lengthening the hydroperiod, thus effectively rewetting vast portions of the Great Cypress Swamp.
But their work didn’t stop there. DWL and others planted more than 33,000 Atlantic white cedars, which have declined significantly and are identified as a “Habitat of Conservation Concern” in the Delaware Wildlife Action Plan. Furthermore, DU spearheaded submission of a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant in 2009 which proposes a similar restoration on an adjacent 343 acres. With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Center for the Inland Bays, and others, DU and DWL are committed to the long-term restoration of the Great Cypress Swamp to improve water quality and wildlife habitat.
Water control structures like this one installed during the 2009 Great Cypress Swamp restoration will anable landowners to hold water in ditches longer, thereby establishing a more natural hydrologic regime.
Walters Farm restoration provides habitat for Delaware ducks
Thanks to a joint effort between Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and the Delaware Landowner Incentive Program, waterfowl, amphibians and other wetland-dependent wildlife have a new hangout in northern Kent County. Completed in May 2007, the Walters Farm project included the restoration of 4.6 acres of shallow-water wetlands and 41.6 acres of warm season grasses and native wildflowers. A water control structure on one of the wetlands allows the landowner to provide high-quality feeding and resting habitat for the teal and wood ducks that already frequent the site; it goes to show that interested landowners really do make a difference for the ducks!
Recently completed construction on the Walters Farm increases the amount of critical habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife in northern Kent County.
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DU facilitates repair of water control structure at Bombay Hook NWR
Forty years of heavy wear has left the water control structure at the Bear Swamp Pool in a state of disrepair. Corrosion severely degraded the stop logs and channels, and the unrelenting tidal pressure warped the concrete at the bottom of the gate, thus enabling uncontrolled water exchange. As a result, managers at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) have been unable to manipulate water levels adequately to provide abundant forage for the diversity of migratory birds found at the refuge. In partnership with Bombay Hook NWR, Ducks Unlimited will fund the custom fabrication of stop logs and channels that are desperately needed. Installation will occur in spring 2008 and will serve to enhance the habitat value for wildlife in this 200-acre impoundment. By fall, the Bear Swamp Pool will be ready to greet returning American black ducks, gadwalls, pintails, teal and a host of other waterfowl that rely on the area to meet their migrating and wintering needs. There can be no warmer welcome.
Repair of the ailing Bear Swamp Pool water control structure will improve wildlife habitat at Bombay Hook NWR.
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DU partnering with DELIP, SCD, Waterfowl Festival to restore 50-acre Lovelace Farm
Restoration on the 50-acre Lovelace Farm near Oak Grove in Sussex County began in February 2008. This project straddles the Delaware-Maryland state line and was the recipient of generous support from the Easton Waterfowl Festival. The combined restoration efforts of Ducks Unlimited, Delaware Landowner Incentive Program and the Sussex Conservation District included grass plantings, ditch plugs, low-level berms and shallow wetland scrapes. All told, the Lovelace Farm includes 16.2 acres of wetlands and 23.3 acres of grasslands that will benefit migratory birds throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. It further serves to highlight the importance of the waterfowling community in ensuring these habitats survive for future generations.
Construction is underway on one of several shallow-water wetlands at the Lovelace Farm. Restoration made possible in part by the Easton Waterfowl Festival will benefit Delmarva birds for years to come.
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