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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.

Sea Level Fen

Other Freshwater Wetland Types 

The recent Delaware Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy recognizes at least 119 habitat types in the state, of which 79 are of the wetland variety. This includes several subtypes of the above-described categories, as well as various other small, but specialized, wetland types far too numerous to distinguish here. 

Although the latter – featuring such catchy names as interdunal swales, sea level fens (pictured at left), and Piedmont streamside seeps – typically comprise small, off-the-beaten path kind of places, they also offer habitats unique and essential to some of our rarest and most threatened species, and are thus of critical conservation concern to Delaware’s natural heritage. 

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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

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