Archive for July, 2011

Flexing our “mussels” along the shoreline

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Every water front property owner knows the value of protecting their shoreline from the damage of erosion.  Often times, we choose to harden the shorelines with bulkhead or rip rap to make sure we don’t lose land.  But, are there more natural ways to stabilize the ever changing shoreline?  Joshua Moody, a former graduate fellow at the Reserve and Master’s degree candidate at Rutgers University is studying the ability of the ribbed mussel (scientifically known as Geukensia demissa) to form physical structures through their nutrient rich waste which creates levees at the edges of marshes to stabilize the marsh shoreline.  Results will help determine the potential role of using ribbed mussels as a living shoreline structure. It is believed that “soft armor” barriers (such as ribbed mussels and salt marsh plants) may provide ecological benefits that “hard armoring” (bulkheads and stone revetments) cannot provide by allowing the salt marsh and the intertidal zone to interact.  To find out more information about the use of living shorelines in protecting marshes and other properties from erosion visit the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary website.

Educating on a Changing Climate

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

This past week teachers from Delaware and Pennsylvania dawned on a salty adventure exploring the current and potential effects of climate change on the Delaware Estuary.  This 2-day exploration was part of the annual 5- day Delaware Estuary Watershed Teacher Workshop conducted by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE).  This year the Reserve partnered with PDE to provide information, activities, and tools for teachers to educate their students on climate change and sea level rise.  The teachers took part in a boat trip exploring the St. Jones River sub-estuary and heard from experts in the field of education, stewardship, and coastal issues including sea level rise and climate change.  To learn more about sea level rise and climate change visit  Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and DNREC’s  Delaware Coastal Programs Office . For more information about the teacher workshop and more information about the Delaware Estuary visit the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and the Thank You Delaware Bay campaign. 

Reserve staff bands Osprey near Jug Bay

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Last week the Delaware NERR staff had the great opportunity to band osprey with staff from our sister reserve, Chesapeake Bay Maryland NERR.  We began the day learning about their stewardship, education, and research projects followed by an awesome tour of their Jug Bay site.   In the afternoon we assisted Greg Kearns with the Patuxent River Park and the Maryland Reserve staff in banding osprey.  Osprey are large raptors that typically live around bodies of water which makes it easy to catch their favorite food…fish.  They often make their large nests of twigs, bark, and grass on the top of man-made structures such as poles and platforms.  Enjoy the photos of the osprey banding!  For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Maryland NERR or about the Patuxent River Park (including the Live Osprey Cam) visit them on the web.