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Trash or Treasures: Wetland Edition

Written on: August 19th, 2016 in Wetland Assessments

Abandoned car

Old abandoned car along Christina River.

People have been creators of some amazing inventions throughout history: wheels, cars, electricity, plastics and more! But what happens to these creations when they have outlived their use or are no longer wanted? You’re probably guessing that they end up in places like the dump, or antique stores or junk yards. But, would you believe that these unwanted items also end up left, dumped, or washed into our wetlands and their buffers?

Wetlands have the natural ability to clean and purify our waters by trapping excess sediments and nutrients, and they also have the unfortunate ability to trap our trash. That trash then prevents the wetland from being able to function fully, which isn’t good for us and the health of our waters.

WMAP staff with lamp post globe.

WMAP staff with lamp post globe.

We here at the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program, run into quite a few unique items as we walk through and assess Delaware’s wetlands. So, we thought we would put together a short list to show the array of man-made items we have found across Delaware, and let you ponder whether you think these items are “trash” or “treasures”.

From cool to creepy to junk, here are some of the items we have run across: golf balls, baby doll heads, Barbie’s, trash cans, BB gun, barrels, buoys, lamp post shades, glass bottles, crab pots, paddle boats, tires, cars, cranes and signs. Click here for more photos.

Moral of this story; if you see trash in or near a wetland, help a wetland out, and pick it up to properly dispose of it at the dump or antique store (Who knows, you might even make a little money.). As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

For more information on illegal trash dumping in Delaware or to report illegal dumping, please visit Delaware TrashStoppers.

Confessions of a Seasonal: Wetland Work is Tough

Written on: August 4th, 2016 in Wetland Assessments

by Tess Strayer Growing up, I spent the majority of my childhood outdoors with friends, family, and the occasional wild animal. Whether it was hiking, biking, fishing or playing we were constantly exploring, thus you would think my outdoor experience would help better prepare me for field work this summer.  When I accepted an internship […]


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Oyster Recycling is Here to Stay

Written on: May 30th, 2016 in Living Shorelines

Did you know that empty oyster shells can be reused for wetland restoration projects and that there are two oyster shell recycling programs in Delaware? One is run by the Center for the Inland Bays in Rehoboth Beach and the other is by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary in Wilmington. Oysters have hard shells […]


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May is American Wetlands Month

Written on: May 30th, 2016 in Outreach

American Wetlands Month was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1991 as a way to bring federal, state, and local organizations together to highlight the importance of wetlands to the environment, the economy, and the nation’s citizens. “American Wetlands Month is a great time to discover the importance of wetlands and the significant […]


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It’s Horseshoe Crab Counting Season

Written on: May 30th, 2016 in Wetland Animals

Guest writer: Maggie Pletta, DNERR The Delaware Bay is home to the largest population of horseshoe crabs in the world, which is just one of the many reasons the Delaware Bay is so special. The horseshoe crab has been around since before the dinosaurs and is an important animal to the ecosystem and to humans. Their […]


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Peepers, Marbles, and Tigers, Oh My!

Written on: March 14th, 2016 in Wetland Animals

Thanks to all that extra water lying around, all sorts of amphibians start to come alive this time of year in Delaware. Frogs and salamanders use these seasonal pools of water, or wetlands, to breed and can only do so because predatory fish cannot survive the lack of permanent water. They then use the surrounding […]


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Mispillion Watershed Health – Below Average

Written on: March 14th, 2016 in Wetland Assessments

In the summer of 2012, DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program rated the health of wetlands in the Mispillion and Cedar Creek River Watershed’s tidal and non-tidal flat and riverine wetlands. The goal of this project was to summarize recent gains and losses in wetland acreage, assess the condition, and identify impacts on the wetland. […]


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Coastal Storms, Wetlands & You

Written on: March 14th, 2016 in Outreach

Winter storms and nor-easters brought excess rainfall, rough seas, and unseasonably high tides to Delaware this winter, highlighting the value of nature’s first line of defense against coastal storms; wetlands. Up and down Delaware’s coast, roadways were made impassable due to rising seas, buildings were battered by winds and water, and dunes and boardwalks were washed […]


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Getting to Know Delaware’s Non-Tidal Wetlands: Appoquinimink Watershed

Written on: March 8th, 2016 in Wetland Assessments

Every summer since 1999 our Program has gone out into the wilderness to assess non-tidal wetland health in Delaware’s different watersheds. Why you ask? Well, we want to see how healthy Delaware’s wetlands are and if they are able to perform the natural tasks that make them so valuable. We identify which wetlands are in […]


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Delaware’s Unique Wetlands

Written on: December 19th, 2015 in Outreach

Coastal Plain Seasonal Ponds, also called Delmarva Bays, are small, shallow, seasonally-wet areas. They are fed by groundwater, rain or snow and usually fill up in winter and spring and dry out in summer and fall. Often surrounded by woodlands, the inner (wetter) zones feature a variety of low shrubs (e.g. buttonbush and blueberry) and […]


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