State Resource Areas (SRAs) are the most important natural open space lands valued for their natural, cultural, and geological significance. They provide wildlife habitat, natural resource-based outdoor recreation, scenic beauty, conservation of water resources, and buffering or connection of existing public and private lands under conservation management. SRAs are critical in maintaining the quality of life for present and future generations.
Natural and open space areas designated for protection have been included in State Resource Area (SRA) maps.
Determining, designating and mapping protected areas began in the 1970’s. Ultimately, these SRA maps will inform each county’s land use decisions. This is because each county is required to include SRA maps in their comprehensive land use plans, which set the parameters around which development can occur. And, SRA maps guide state acquisition of open space from willing sellers.
State Resource Area Maps - Background
Under the Delaware Land Protection Act the General Assembly authorized a program for state and local governments to help protect substantial quantities lands and open spaces. The Act authorized the mapping of State Resource Areas (SRA) in order to protect significant natural, cultural and geological resources.
SRAs were initially mapped in 1990 and updated in 2006 by reviewing information on natural, cultural and geological resources that meet the definition of open space in the Act. Copies of the updated SRA maps were provided to each county’s planning department in October of 2006.
SRA Map Methodology
What the maps show:
New Castle County
Currently has 46,312 acres (69%) of its SRAs under protection. An additional 21,140 acres (31%) of SRAs, or 8% of the overall county acreage will need to be afforded additional protection.
Currently has 69,594 acres (69%) of its SRAs under protection. An additional 31,964 acres (31%) of SRAs or 8% of the overall county acreage will need to be afforded additional protection.
Currently has 77,832 acres (67%) of its SRAs under protection. An additional 38,130 acres (33%) of SRAs or 6% of the overall county acreage will need to be afforded additional protection.