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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

Delaware Inland Bays (NEP Profile)

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Summary Information

Year Established: 1988
Location: Delaware
Area of Watershed: 804 square kilometers

Priority Management Issues:
habitat loss/alteration
species loss/decline
red/brown tides
harmful algal blooms (esp. Dinoflaggellates such as Pfiesteria)

Major Habitat Types:
submerged aquatic vegetation (sea grass)
barrier islands/sand bars
lagoon/shallow open water
rocky intertidal/subtidal
shellfish growing areas
beach/dune (vegetated)
sand/mud/salt flats
tidal pools
salt/brackish marsh
freshwater marsh (tidal)
forested wetland
seasonal wetland
salt ponds
freshwater lakes/ponds
grass/open field
non-wetland forest
riparian/riverine (tidal, forested, floodplain)
abandoned agricultural

Federally Endangered or Threatened Species:
bald eagle
piping plover
swamp pink

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Overviews and Highlights

Delaware's thrity square mile coastal bays have dedicated people taking positive steps to increase habitat and decrease the over enrichment of nitrogen and phosphorus. State, Federal and local governmental agencies have combined efforts and funds to support the implementation of the Comprehensive conservation and Management Plan. Current demonstration projects include reintroduction of submerged aquatic vegetation, increasing the acquisition of open space and developing alternatives for excess poultry manure. Shoreline stabilization programs have increased wildlife habitat and reduced erosion.

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