Delaware is Losing Wetlands at a Rapid Rate
At the February 28, 2012 Delaware Wetlands Conference in Dover, and in the February report Delaware's Wetlands: Status and Changes (1992 - 2007), the current status of wetlands was described: one of dramatic decline. In the past 15 years, Delaware has lost 3,126 acres of wetlands. The primary causes of wetlands loss are residential development and conversion to agriculture. Most of the wetlands that were lost, 83%, were in Sussex County. Freshwater forested wetlands comprise the largest net loss in the state. Unlike all other surrounding states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and New York, Delaware does not have a "dredge and fill" policy to protect wetlands.
Delaware's failure to protect freshwater wetlands from loss seriously compromises the state's water quality, nutrient management and stormwater protection. Jerry Kauffman of the University of Delaware stated during his remarks at the 2012 Delaware Wetlands Conference that "as wetlands go, so does the state of Delaware."
Photo credit: Amy Roe