University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

DNREC: State awarded $1 million federal grant to protect critical lands in the Delaware Bayshore

More than 800 acres of valuable coastal lands in the Delaware Bayshore, will be conserved and protected thanks to a federal grant awarded to DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North American Wetlands Conservation Act award of $1 million will be used, along with matching funds from the state Open Space Program, conservation partners and private contributors, to acquire property along the Bayshore in Kent County. Nearly ten conservation partners have pledged matching funds that helped to make the grant award possible.

“Our appreciation to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, our Congressional Delegation and our partners for their tireless efforts in protecting our precious Bayshore lands and providing access to premier Bayshore habitat,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “By conserving this land, we can offer world-class outdoor experiences supporting ecotourism and helping to ensure a diverse natural legacy for future generations.”

The grant and support from critical partners will conserve lands that will fill a gap in a network of more than 4,000 acres of protected wetlands and uplands in the St. Jones River watershed. The conservation of these lands is a key priority of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative that protects coastal wetlands and globally significant wildlife habitat and expands public access and low-impact recreational opportunities. The conserved lands will provide opportunities for hunting, fishing, birding and other wildlife watching, photography and nature study activities.