University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

Field Trip to the St. Jones Reserve

Friday, April 12
12:30-4:30 p.m.

Participants will meet at 12:30 at the St. Jones Reserve, 818 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, DE (directions)
Registration is limited to about 20 participants. To make a reservation, contact Delaware Wild Lands at 302-378-2736 or

DENIN will partner with Delaware Wild Lands, the state’s largest land conservation organization, to co-sponsor a field trip to the St. Jones Reserve, a component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. This event is part of the Challenges & Choices series of educational events that DENIN is holding throughout 2013 to focus attention on major environmental challenges facing the state, including sea level rise, food and water security, land use, and energy.

Aerial photo of the St. Jones Reserve by Eric CrossanParticipants in the field trip will learn about the natural, human and ecological systems affected by the St. Jones River near Dover and what factors are impacting the river, including patterns of historic use and climate change. The group will travel in vans from the headwaters to the mouth of the river, meeting experts in the field to view special resources along the river, discuss impacts to the river and discover how the watershed is being enhanced and restored.

About the St. Jones Reserve

The St. Jones Reserve features tidal brackish-water and salt marshes dominated by saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), salt hay (Spartina patens) and open water of creek, river and bay areas, buffered by freshwater wooded fringe, farmlands and meadows. This low-lying area is a prime example of habitat that is threatened by rising sea levels expected to occur over the next century.

The St. Jones River watershed drains a portion of the coastal plain in central Kent County, DE, including the city of Dover, the surrounding suburbs, industrial areas, agricultural areas and Dover Air Force Base. The upper St. Jones is impounded by a dam 10.5 miles upstream from the bay to form Silver Lake, a municipal recreation area. Some other headwater streams are also impounded. Much of the eastern portion (bayward) of the watershed consists of wetlands and forests, including lands and waters managed for waterfowl, wild turkey, deer and other wildlife.

The St. Jones Reserve is about 1518 hectares (3750 acres) in designated size, distributed along 8.8 km (5.5 mi) of medium-salinity tidal river situated at the lower end of the St. Jones River watershed, with the river discharging into mid-Delaware Bay.

(Photo by Eric Crossan)