You know, birds are more like humans than we’d probably like to admit. When we look for a place to live, it’s usually close to a market or hardware store. For birds, it’s being close to food and easy access to nesting materials. We worry about sitting in traffic and living in safe neighborhoods, they want to nest in areas that aren’t over-crowded and are safe from predators. That’s why islands and other important bird nesting habitat in the Inland Bays are so essential to their survival.
To help restore these vital habitat areas requires creativity, perseverance, and money. Fortunately, donations from members and local businesses have helped the Center with innovative projects such as the Middle Island Heron Rookery. We also work closely with State wildlife biologists to monitor birds such as American Oystercatchers to see how they’re doing in the Inland Bays. This information will give us a better idea about where to focus our efforts on restoring habitat. Go to our video gallery to see a cool video of baby birds nesting on Middle Island!
Hundreds of thousands of people come to visit the coastal region of southern Delaware each year. Some come to spend a day at the beach while others come to fish, kayak, or visit many of the state parks or wildlife management areas that make up much of the open space in the Inland Bays. Although the beach draws many people to the area, it is the Inland Bays themselves that provide a greater variety of activities including bird-watching, hunting, fishing, crabbing and clamming, boating, and so on. Without abundant and functioning habitat, many of these activities would cease to be.
Fortunately, Delaware’s Inland Bays have a variety of habitat types including tidal marsh, forested, and non-tidal wetlands, forests, shallow-water areas, islands, and sandy beaches. All these areas are important for birds, fish, mammals, and other animals that call the Inland Bays home.
The Center for the Inland Bays worked with many of its partners to identify important habitat areas that are in need of restoration, enhancement, or protection. Primarily utilizing threatened or endangered species or the critical habitat areas they need to survive, the Center’s habitat plan highlights various areas in the Inland Bays watershed where opportunities exist to voluntarily assist in efforts to help these important species thrive. Click here to view the plan (14MB).
Currently, the Center for the Inland Bays and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Watershed Assessment Section are working together on an updated assessment of the watershed’s habitat types to assist in the prioritization of restoration efforts. Once this assessment is completed, the Center’s habitat plan will be re-evaluated and updated to reflect the current status of habitat restoration needs in the Inland Bays. Until then, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Eric Buehl, Habitat Coordinator at 302-226-8105 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Conservation groups and governmental agencies have done a remarkable job protecting, preserving, and restoring habitat and open space. Since 2002, the Center has tracked over 4,800 acres that have been protected or preserved as both public and private open space through agricultural land preservation, expansion of state parks or wildlife areas, and through private easements.
Did You Know
DID YOU KNOW?
Despite their fierce looking appearance, the horseshoe crab is harmless to humans. It uses its 'tail' as a rudder to steer, and to turn itself over in the sand when it gets flipped.