SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

This edition is brimming with fresh information and interesting facts provided by a variety of contributing authors. Although I love fall I’m never quite ready to let summer go. This summer has been a formidable one with stretches of hot humid weather in the middle book-ended by intense rain events. During these intense events we watch nervously as roadways become rivers and our coastlines seem to disappear. We also marvel at how resilient our coastal and riparian wetlands are!

Wetlands work quietly and humbly to our benefit IF we avoid them and give them space to function. We are fortunate to have two strong estuary programs ( PDE & CIB ) in our small state and they each play a role in conserving and understanding wetlands. As they both update their comprehensive management plans please exercise your right to comment on and support their wetland goals. Likewise, now is the time to comment on Sussex County’s Comprehensive Plan as updates are proposed for wetland protection and planning decisions.

Late summer is when we hustle to finish our sampling before the grasses turn brown and the bird songs are replaced with crickets. Our field work takes us into some beautiful and unique places around the state that are far from the beaten path. We love to share our field finds with our followers on Instagram so be sure to look us up @de_wetlands.

Thanks for reading & happy fall!
Alison Rogerson
DNREC's Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program
Did You Know?
When Delawarean's were surveyed, 57% of people did not believe that wetlands were located within a mile of where they live. When for the most part, in Delaware you are about a mile away from a wetland. Approximately one-quarter of the state is covered in wetlands. Help us spread the word about where wetlands are located in Delaware!
Delaware Coastal Cleanup
September 22, 9 AM
Statewide - Register

September 26
Smyrna, DE

September 29
Georgetown, DE

September 30
Multiple locations

October 7
Lewes, DE

October 20
Townsend, DE

October 20
Frankford, DE

December 5
Dover, DE
What's "News" in DE Wetlands
Wetland Plant Adaptations
Wetland plants live a tough life. They are often under water for significant periods of time, meaning that they are frequently deprived of oxygen. Wetland plants also need to remain stable in the soil if they deal with fast moving water that ebbs and flows. Those that live in marine or estuarine areas are under even more stress simply because they need to be able to deal with saltwater! So how are wetland plants able to survive and reproduce under these difficult conditions? Read more...
Clean Water Act changes and what it means for Delaware
States and tribes across the nation are scrambling to assess how waters are protected within their jurisdiction under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Specifically, a recent U.S. District Court ruling to CWA Section 404, which is the federal program that regulates dredge and fill activities in traditionally navigable waters and wetlands, has changed the scope of what is regulated in some states. Additionally, newly proposed legislation in Congress could affect states approval authority under CWA Section 401, which requires any applicant of a federal permit to also get water quality certification based on that state’s water quality standards. Read more...
Just how shellfish are freshwater mussels?
Guest Writer: Kurt Cheng, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
Upon hearing the term “freshwater mussel”, what do you think of? Is it that tasty seafood restaurant that serves them in white wine or steamed with garlic and parsley? If so, you’re probably not alone. But what if I told you we don’t eat freshwater mussels? This is the typical start to a conversation about those animals with two shells known as bivalve shellfish and the differences between them. Read more...
Confessions of a Seasonal: The things we do for the love of wetlands
When I got the call telling me that I had been offered the position of Wetland Field Technician for DNREC I was ecstatic. I would be working outside all summer, assisting on legitimate research projects and working with something I absolutely love. What I didn’t know at that time, was that field work comes with some….challenges. Read more...
Microplastics: Where will they end up next?
Guest Writer: Nicole Rodi, Delaware Coastal Programs
Ahh the average morning routine- drinking some coffee, making lunch, brushing your teeth, and washing your face- unknowingly rubbing tiny pieces of plastic on your face, and teeth. Fortunately, due to the Microbead Free Waters Act there is a ban on microbeads in tooth paste and facewash, but the sink drain is not the only way microplastics get into the environment (Pallone, 2015). The microbeads that USED to be found in products like this are just one form of microplastic. Read more...
DNREC produces wetlands report card and management recommendations on the Smyrna River Watershed
A new “wetlands report card” for the Smyrna River Watershed is now available from DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program – the ninth in a series of watershed-specific wetland health reports produced by the Department. The Smyrna River Watershed extends into both Kent and New Castle counties, where agriculture (46 percent) and wetlands (27 percent) primarily dominate the landscape. The wetlands report card indicates that wetlands in the Smyrna watershed were in better-than-average condition when rated against other previously assessed Delaware watersheds, earning an overall B-minus grade. Read more...