University of Delaware Students Improve Wetlands

The University of Delaware (UD) Ducks Unlimited chapter used a donation of trees and shrubs from the UD exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show to restore a local wetland. The students cleared invasive cattails and planted more sustainable native plants that had been featured at the show.

"It's a great opportunity when a student organization can learn things and participate in a service project," said Chris Williams, associate professor in UD's Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology and adviser for this DU university chapter. "These students are getting hands-on experience and learning about how natural systems such as wetlands function."

Approximately 25 students joined Williams as well as Mike Popovich, a research associate in UD's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and Scott Hopkins, superintendent of the UD farm, for an afternoon of wetland enhancement work.Williams said that several members of the group spent the better part of the day clearing invasive cattails while the rest of the students planted trees and shrubs native to northern Delaware. The new plant life and resulting lower water levels will provide increased feeding opportunities for migrating waterfowl. The UD planting project is in its fifth year.