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Wetland Types

Wetlands come in many "flavors" and each type has a unique set of characteristics. In this section, we have compiled the types of wetlands, based on their salinity and tidal characteristics, that can be found in Delaware.

The seasonal freshwater wetlands in this section share several features. They are largely freshwater (lack tidal inputs), usually fed by seasonal rains or high groundwater levels, and appear wet at the surface for only part of the year (typically winter through early spring). They also feature some of our most vital habitats for biodiversity in the state (including many species found nowhere else), and are also the ones most vulnerable to loss through human impacts.

Floodplain Hardwood Swamps

Floodplain Hardwood Swamps

 Floodplain hardwood swamps, also called "riparian" or "riverine" swamps, occur along the more downstream portions of some of the major rivers and their tributaries in Delaware. Historically, many were dammed to form impoundments (e.g. Killens Pond on the Murderkill, Haven Lake on the Mispillion, and Collins Pond on the Nanticoke River). Those remaining feature a mix of deciduous trees, including: red maple, sweet gum, black gum, willow oak, pin oak and others.

As their name implies, floodplain swamps play a critical role in absorbing runoff reaching rivers and streams, thus reducing the impacts of floods and storms. Like the other wetland types on this page, floodplain swamps also provide vital wildlife habitat, adding to their conservation value.

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