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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.

Atlantic White Cedar Swamp

Atlantic White Cedar Swamps

Atlantic White Cedar swamps can be found mainly in Sussex County, where they occur in poorly-drained, acidic, highly organic soils, either along river floodplains (including Cedar Creek, the Mispillion River and the Nanticoke River), or in the headwaters of mill ponds. They feature a white cedar tree canopy with deciduous (typically maple/gum) trees mixed in. A unique community of sphagnum moss and carnivorous plants occupies the forest floor.

Prior to extensive timbering and drainage during the 1800s and 1900s, white cedar swamps were abundant in Delaware, including hundreds of acres within the Great Cypress Swamp. Though now scarce in Delaware, cedar swamps provide critical habitat for certain species (sundews, pitcher plants, dragonflies, salamanders, etc.) found in few other places in the state. 

PREVIOUS: Coastal Plain Ponds  NEXT: Bald Cypress Swamps

Page 1: Wet Flatwood Swamp Forests

Page 2: Floodplain Hardwood Swamps

Page 3: Wet Meadows

Page 4: Coastal Plain Ponds

Page 5: Atlantic White Cedar Swamps

Page 6: Bald Cypress Swamps

Page 7: Other Seasonal Freshwater Wetlands 

Jump to Brackish-Saltwater Wetland Types 


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