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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Watershed Stewardship

Estuary Research


The Delaware Estuary is one of the largest tidal estuaries in the world. Stretching from Trenton, N.J., to Cape Henlopen, Del., it is the region where fresh water from the Delaware River and the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean mix. It provides drinking water for more than nine million people, as well as other recreational, economic and environmental benefits.

But the Delaware Estuary faces many environmental challenges. The over harvest of fish and shellfish, contaminants in fish, and the loss of important wildlife habitat and vital wetlands are among the issues being studied by DNREC scientists, including those from the Division of Soil & Water Conservation (DSWC). Maintaining the Delaware Estuary’s environmental health is a crucial mission of the DSWC, and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) is a major contributor in the effort to fulfill that mission.

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) seeks to:

DNERR is a cooperative program between DNREC, DSWC, Delaware Coastal Programs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is one of 27 National Estuarine Research Reserves across the country.



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