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Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve

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  Archived Posts From: 2011


Reserve Staff Visited Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Written on: November 3rd, 2011 in NERR

The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) system is comprised of 28 reserves around the United States.  The Delaware NERR is the 22nd reserve, adopted into the system in 1993.  Every year the staff from each reserve meet for a national meeting to set system-wide priorities, integrate the program sectors (management, research, education, coastal training, and stewardship), and provide relevant, targeted information and training.  This year the annual meeting was held at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR near St. Augustine, Florida.  We greatly appreciate the hard work the GTM Reserve put into hosting this year’s  meeting.  Visit the NERR system on the web to learn more about all 28 Reserves around the US.

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Fun Family Festival

Written on: October 19th, 2011 in Blackbird Creek Events and ProgramsBlackbird Creek ReserveEducation & Outreach

Looking for something fun to do this Saturday, October 22?  Join us at the 4th annual Blackbird Creek Fall Festival at the Blackbird Creek Reserve on 801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend, Delaware from 10 am – 4 pm.  Delight in the beauty of the Blackbird Creek by taking a hay ride or enjoying a leisurely canoe trip. Listen to the sounds of great musicians such as Em McKeever, Crabmeat Thompson, The Bog Turtle Band, Mallory Square, and Nice Like Dat.  The kids will enjoy exploring the straw maze, making fall crafts, watching the Retriever Demonstration by the Del Bay Retriever Club, and learning about Native American culture and heritage.  There will also be local artisans, vendors, exhibitors, demonstrations, and food.

And, if you are a runner/walker and are looking for a challenge, the Appoquinimink River Association is hosting the Run for our Rivers 5K at 9 am at the Blackbird Creek Reserve prior to the festival.  For more information about the 5K visit the Run for our Rivers webpage and for more information about the Blackbird Creek Fall Festival visit the Festival webpage.

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Thank you Wes!

Written on: September 30th, 2011 in Blackbird Creek ReserveNERRSt. Jones ReserveStewardship

Today we’re celebrating 12 years of outstanding service by the Reserve’s Conservationist, Wes Conley who is starting on a new adventure – retirement!  He’s been an invaluable resource to the Reserve and provided outstanding technical assistance and leadership in getting things done on the ground at the St Jones Reserve and Blackbird Creek Reserve.  His work ethic and dedication have brought great credit upon himself and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.  It has been amazing working with you Wes!


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Researchers Study Blue Crabs in the Delaware Bay

Written on: September 30th, 2011 in NERRResearchSt. Jones Reserve

The effect of climate change is expected to raise the temperature of Southern New England waters by up to 40°F (4.5 °C) in this century. This may result in northward expansion of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) range as well as its pathogens (an agent that causes disease such as a virus or bacteria). The Delaware Bay is the northern limit for commercial harvest of blue crab, though substantial populations extend into Massachusetts and support a recreational fishery. The University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science and the University of Delaware are beginning a student project to assess the prevalence of two fatal pathogens of blue crab, a reovirus and a protozoan parasite, in the northern range from the Delaware Bay to the southern shore of Massachusetts. This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funded project is intended to serve as a template for long-term studies of the effects of climate change and latitude on blue crab disease prevalence in the Northeastern United States.

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve is assisting with the project by providing  equipment, technical assistance, and training.  Other collections (single sites, annual collections) are being provided by partners affiliated with the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve in New Jersey, NOAA Milford Lab, and Massachusetts  Division of Marine Fisheries.

(The NOAA-LMRCSC competition is led by the Univ. of MD Eastern Shore, Paulinus Chigbu, PI; UMCES-IMET PI is Rosemary Jagus).

“Tracking pathogens of blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) along a climatological and latitudinal gradient”   PI:  Eric J Schott, UMCES-Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology;  Co-PI: Dennis McIntosh, Delaware State University. Outreach;  NOAA collaborator: Gretchen Messick, NCCOS, Oxford Cooperative Lab.

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A Facelift for the Boardwalk

Written on: September 23rd, 2011 in ResearchSt. Jones ReserveStewardship

If you have been to the St. Jones Reserve recently you may have noticed that the boardwalk is being renovated.  This is exciting news as the Reserve will be a demonstration site for alternative decking material which allows more light to reach the marsh surface and will hopefully lead to more plants growing under the boardwalk.  In addition to alterantive decking, other areas of decking will be replaced with treated wood, but the spacing between the planks will be 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch which will also allow more light to penetrate to the marsh surface.  Because of the renovations, the St. Jones Reserve Trail will temporarily be closed until the project is complete for the safety of our visitors.  However, we encourage you to visit the trail after the project has been completed to experience the salt marsh from the renovated boardwalk.  We greatly appreciate your patience and look forward to your future visits.

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