Delaware’s open spaces are areas of forests, waterways, parks, greenways, wetlands, and natural lands. These open spaces support all of the living things that inhabit them, as well as our quality of life, economy and future
Charged with protecting and conserving Delaware’s natural resources, DNREC has taken the lead in preserving a network of areas that support and protect our precious natural resources while allowing for Delaware’s continued economic growth and development.
Natural open space lands contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Delaware’s economy each year through hunting, fishing, wildlife watching and tourism. The diversity of plants, animals and habitats found on these lands also provide invaluable services like cleaning our air, filtering our water, and maintaining the fertility of our soil.
Yet, thousands of acres of open space are lost to development each year, along with the economic values and environmental services that they provide.
DNREC is leading numerous strategic initiatives that support and enhance the maintenance of open space networks. While these programs have different names and roles, they all fall under various of the state’s strategies to direct resources and programs to most efficiently and effectively address growth and preservation. Each initiative serves the overall mission to preserve Delaware’s Open Space & Natural Places.