Have you been to the Blackbird Creek Reserve lately? You may have notice some changes to our farm field. As part of our restoration plan for the Blackbird Creek Reserve, we have taken some agricultural land out of production and created/restored some freshwater wetlands. Wetlands are areas where there are water loving (hydrophytic) plants, saturation of the land or free standing water during portions of the growing season, and hydric soils (soils that are wet enough during the growing season to develop low/no oxygen conditions). Wetlands have many benefits such as absorbing water like a sponge which helps to reduce flooding, acting as a natural filter, and providing important habitat for food, shelter, and nesting. A couple of weeks ago staff and volunteers planted the wetland sites with various native water loving plants including rushes, wool grass, buttonbush, sedges, and pin oak. Visit us on the web for more information about the Blackbird Creek Reserve, Delaware Wetlands, and Wetland and Waterway permitting in Delaware.
Did you see the movie stars at the St. Jones Reserve this past Saturday? They attended the premiere of the new St. Jones River video entitled The Price of Progress…The Promise of Protection in which they starred. The 20-minute video explored the St. Jones River through time. The river is both rich in natural history and cultural history. If you missed the show you still have an opportunity to see it as we will be showing it again this winter. Copies will also be available for educational use.
In addition to the premiere of the new video during the St. Jones Open House, we also showcased the research being conducted at the Reserve as well as the sea level rise inundation mapping tool; the facility and estuarium were opened for tours; and there were crafts for our younger visitors. The Open House was held in conjunction with the Delaware Native Plant Society’s annual plant sale. Thank you to all who visited us at the Open House and Plant Sale!
Written on: September 7th, 2012 in NERR
Delaware Coastal Programs, Manager, David Carter retired from the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) on September 1, 2012 following a 25+ year service to the State of Delaware. For over twenty five years David Carter has dedicated both his career and personal time to the protection and restoration of Delaware’s wetlands. As a biologist and Regional Manager with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife his vision and drive was key to establishing the Northern Delaware Wetlands Restoration Program, which continues to be implemented today and has restored hundreds of acres of wetland. As a Program Manager with the Delaware Coastal Programs he employed innovative planning and funding tools to improve the management and protection of wetlands in the state, through development of the Pea Patch Island Heronry Special Area Management Plan, Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection Program, horseshoe crab and shorebird monitoring, Marsh Vulnerability Index and the System Wide Monitoring Program for the National Estuarine Research Reserve. In his home life, as an active hunter and member of Ducks Unlimited, Dave has created wetland and habitat on his 40-acre farm, providing a demonstration site for others. In addition, David has cultivated a climate of innovation and implementation-focused planning for the next generation of coastal and wetland managers. “Congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful future filled with continued success and happiness.”
Many east coasters have heard of brackish water estuaries…where rivers meet the sea. But, have you ever heard of a freshwater estuary? The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System actually has two freshwater estuaries…Old Woman Creek in Ohio and Lake Superior in Wisconsin. Freshwater estuaries do not contain salt water but rather, are combinations of river and lake water (large lakes). The river water and lake water are chemically different and the estuary tends to be driven by storm surges and seiches (shifting of lake water) rather than tides. Today’s destination is the Old Woman Creek NERR located on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie just east of Huron, Ohio. It was the first freshwater estuary adopted into the NERR System in 1980. Old Woman Creek NERR encompasses approximately 573 acres and includes critical spawning and nursery ground for many recreational and commercial fisheries including crappie, blue gill, and channel catfish. So, if you are taking a trip near Huron, Ohio stop in and visit the Old Woman Creek Reserve! For more information about freshwater estuaries visit the estuaries.gov website and to learn more about Old Woman Creek NERR visit them on their website.
How better to learn about a watershed than to experience it? On July 12, 2012 teachers from several states participated in a watershed tour of the St. Jones River coordinated by the Reserve in collaboration with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (the Partnership). The tour is one component of the Partnership’s annual watershed workshop for teachers. The teachers explored the history, habitats, impacts, and the restoration efforts occurring in and along the St. Jones River in Kent County, Delaware. At each stop along the tour teachers had the opportunity to interact with scientists, resource managers, and environmental educators about the importance of the St. Jones River; how it was impacted in the past; what impacts it today; and how it is being protected for tomorrow. If you want to learn more about the St. Jones River visit the St. Jones Reserve south of the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, DE.