Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
DNREC Wetland Monitoring and Assessment team
to study Smyrna River Watershed in summer 2014
DOVER (May 20, 2014) – DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment team will resume their assessment of Delaware’s wetlands this summer in the Smyrna River Watershed. This ongoing study is designed to confirm wetland mapping and determine the health of local wetlands. The information gathered will help determine how to maintain and improve wetlands, which rank among Delaware’s greatest natural resources.
Beginning in June, a DNREC crew of biologists will visit sites in non-tidal wetlands within the watershed to gather data on vegetation, hydrology, soil, and other wetland features. This information will later be compiled to assign overall health grades to each wetland type and determine the strengths and weaknesses of local wetlands.
The Smyrna River Watershed is located in the northeastern corner of Kent County and extends into southern New Castle County. The watershed begins at the mouth of the Smyrna River in the Delaware Bay and extends to west of Clayton, draining 64 square miles. It contains both tidal and non-tidal wetlands along the Smyrna River, as well as in isolated pockets across the landscape.
The study is planned to include about 90 wetland sites on both private and public lands within the watershed. DNREC uses a computer program to randomly place study points in wetlands across watersheds. Study sites were selected to represent the major wetland types in the area and are not related to any permitting or regulatory activity.
This month, property owners of all private lands selected for study will be contacted for permission to enter their land via a postcard in the mail outlining the program’s request to enter and work on their property. Property owners with questions or concerns are urged to contact Andy Howard with the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program at 302-739-9939.
For more information on the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment program, please visit Delaware Wetlands.
Vol. 44, No. 165