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    In this issue: Terrapins on the Move, Implementing the James Farm Master Plan, A River at Risk, Don't Chuck Your Shucks, A Board Member Field Guide...and more!

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    Education, and boardwalks, and restrooms - oh my! We're raising money for Phase 2 of the James Farm Master Plan that will address more of the educational and capacity needs of the Preserve. But we need YOUR HELP to make it all happen!

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Welcome to Delaware’s Inland Bays





The Rehoboth, Indian River, and Little Assawoman Bays lie just behind a narrow spit of land in sight of the Atlantic Ocean. Our mission is to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

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DE Center for the Inland Bays
DE Center for the Inland Bays
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the successful moon landing of NASA's Apollo 11 mission. Recently one if our staff visited the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center and spotted this unique interpretation of the moon landing in the submissions to the youth art contest.

While Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins filed no reports of ducks on the moon, ducks and other bay creatures are impacted by the moon's influence on Earth's tides. Low tide can expose shellfish, insects and other food sources for ducks and geese, while riding tides can give birds better access seeds and grasses.

Many boaters will also attest to the importance of knowing the tide schedule in the bays when planning a day on the water!
DE Center for the Inland Bays
DE Center for the Inland Bays
The Center is very proud to be one of RASCL's many partners!

"Coastal communities struggling to manage sea-level rise and increased flooding along with surging development are getting support from a network of state agencies, nonprofits and academic experts dedicated to building resiliency."
DE Center for the Inland Bays
DE Center for the Inland Bays
As summer heats up, we're celebrating another successful spring of our volunteer Horseshoe Crab Survey!

Currently our team of scientists are crunching the numbers and comparing statistics from previous years. But our volunteers noted that they were seeing higher numbers of crabs during the surveys than in the past!

During an end of survey celebration our science staff presented our teams of volunteers with awards for their hard work!

🐞Girl Power Award - James Farm Team
The James Farm volunteers counted the most females for this season, a total of 1158!

🦉Night Owl Award - Tower Road Team
This award was presented to our most dedicated volunteer award for staying until 1:14 a.m. for the last day’s count!

👍Most Likely to Make Protocols Fun Award - Ellis Point Team
This award was presented to our most creative team of volunteers! This team created hand carved quadrant counter sticks to help maintain an accurate count.

💖Sexiest Beach Award - Bay Colony Team
The Bay Colony Team had the Greatest Male to Female Ratio of 10.12 males to 1 female! Our runner ups for this award included the James Farm team with 9.5 males to 1 female and the Ellis Point Team with a close 8.9 males to 1 female.

We are excited to see the results of this years surveys and can’t wait to share them with you!
DE Center for the Inland Bays
DE Center for the Inland Bays
Some insects are completely tied to one species of plant! This Groundsel Bush Beetle adult and its larvae feed only on the leaves of the native groundsel bush which grows in saltmarshes of the Inland Bays. You can find the adults munching on groundsel now at places like the James Farm Ecological Preserve. Thanks to Dennis Bartow for the photos!
DE Center for the Inland Bays
DE Center for the Inland Bays
An unwelcome visitor is now arriving in the Inland Bays and off the coast of Delaware… Jellyfish. In the Inland Bays the most common types of Jellyfish we see are Sea Nettles, Moon Jellyfish, and Comb Jellyfish. Sea Nettles are most abundant because they prefer the lower salinity of the bays.

Each year Jellyfish season is coming earlier and lasting longer thanks to : climate change, reduction of oyster populations, and the development of shorelines.

Jellyfish arrive as early as May and can stay until September. Jellies are attracted to warmer waters, and while warmer water associated with climate change does not increase the number of jellyfish we see, it does extend the time they remain in the waters.

Jellies capable of crippling an ecosystem because they have few predators and they wipeout the plankton populations that support the bays food web. Filter feeders such as oysters reduce the amount of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the water and can outcompete Jellyfish populations.

Jellyfish have benefited greatly from the development of shorelines. Hard structures such as riprap and jetties provide an ideal surface for juvenile forms of Jellyfish, called Polyps, to develop on.

Here at the Center for the Inland Bays we are doing our part to keep our unwanted visitors at bay! With our ‘Don’t Chuck Your Shucks’ program we are able to create oyster reefs and gardens that help to increase our oyster population and outcompete the unwelcome Jellies! We are also building Living Shorelines, such as the one at Sassafras Landing, that help to stabilize our coast without structures that provide a home for Jellyfish Polyps.
DE Center for the Inland Bays
DE Center for the Inland Bays
At first glance, soil may appear devoid of life, but in fact, healthy soils teem with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other beneficial microbes that are critical to soil health!

🚜 And because agriculture is the largest use of land in the Inland Bays watershed—nearly 100 of the 292 square mile watershed—promoting healthy farm soils is key to improving water quality in our creeks and bays!

But there is no one-size-fits-all for achieving and maintaining soil health. We're proud to work with some great local farmers that use friendly practices like ‘no-till’ farming (to protect soil from erosion), rotating crops, and planting cover crops!

 

Explore the Inland Bays!


 

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