Delaware Wild Lands Completes 12-acre Wetlands Restoration Project
ODESSA, Del.- Delaware Wild Lands on Wednesday announced completion of another – and its most recent – wetlands restoration and expansion project, a 12-acre site at Milford Neck in eastern Kent County.
DWL owns and actively manages 3,500 acres of the Milford Neck Conservation Area. Completed in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, GreenWatch Institute, and other private partners, this project is known as “Deadwoods” because of the negative impact of saltwater on a distinctive stand of old trees there.
According to Delaware Wild Lands spokesperson Wendy Scott, upland coastal forests and agricultural lands like these are increasingly vulnerable to increased salinity and sea level rise, and Milford Neck is one of Delaware’s largest remaining undeveloped areas of this important ecosystem. Scott said the particular type of wetlands at the Deadwoods site are also known to be in decline nationally, making this project a priority at the local, state, and national levels.
Located in the Murderkill watershed, the Deadwoods project site was designed to restore and expand historic freshwater wetlands and make the site more resilient to future saltwater intrusion without increasing land disturbance or maintenance costs, Scott said. Installation of an earthen berm and water control structure are already helping low-production agricultural lands revert to productive wetlands and will help minimize future saltwater intrusion into the site.
Scott noted the benefits of the Deadwoods wetlands restoration project include:
- Improved freshwater wetlands for waterfowl at an important Atlantic Coast migratory stopover point.
- Improved water quality in the Murderkill River, the Delaware Estuary and the Delaware Bay.
- Enhanced habitat area for food and rest required by migratory birds, resident birds, and other wildlife.
- Protection of upland coastal forests and agricultural fields from salinity caused by storm surges and sea level rise.
Restoration of the Deadwoods site was made possible by support from DU, GreenWatch Institute, and private donations.