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Survey Says: Delaware Wetlands now has New Year’s Resolutions

Written on: December 12th, 2017 in Outreach

by Alison Rogerson, DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program (aka Delaware Wetlands)

Curious as to what Delawareans think about wetlands? In September of this year we polled 600 Delaware residents across our three counties to find out.  We wanted to see if people knew what wetlands are, their benefits, if they think they are good or bad, and where they are getting information about the environment.

Based on the results we came up with ten Delaware Wetlands New Year’s Resolutions to help guide our program into the future. Hey, the survey finding might even help inform your program’s activities too. We are excited to get started!

  1. Post more pictures of ducks, fish and turtles on Facebook and Instagram.

    Instagram Box TurtleContrary to the old myth that wetlands are a wasteland 7 out of 8 people reacted positively that wetlands provide wildlife habitat.

  2. Encourage more outdoor recreational activity- even away from wetlands.

    Nearly half of survey participants said they never get outside to hike, birdwatch, hunt, fish or kayak.

  3. Continue to teach about wetlands to audiences big and small, young and mature.

    An astounding number of people (85%) felt familiar with the term wetland and could provide some sort of definition!

  4. Talk more about a wetlands importance in improving water quality in Delaware’s creeks, rivers and bays.

    3 out of 5 people in Delaware think water pollution is a somewhat or very serious problem.

  5. Share more about the awesome services wetlands provide to us every day for free.

    Only half the residents surveyed thought it is a good thing to have a wetland near where they live. There were misconceptions that having a wetland near them would increase flooding.

  6. Connect people with the land around them.

    4 out of 7 people don’t think a wetland exists within a mile of them. Yet 1/4 of Delaware’s land area is wetlands, so they are around every corner!

  7. Buddy up with our state agency partners to deliver messages and share projects.

    According to this survey, people are most likely to trust DNREC, the Division of Parks and Recreation, and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension with information about the natural environment.

  8. Rain garden at DNREC building in Dover

    Rain garden at DNREC building in Dover

    Suggest (wetland) conservation practices that are practical for busy, small scale landowners. This includes things like using less fertilizers, and installing rain gardens or rain barrels.

    75% of survey takers live on less than an acre of land.

  9. Make our website attractive and easy to navigate to find information about wetlands or the health of the environment.

    Polled citizens are more likely to use a website to find information than social media or printed publications (mailers or newspaper).

  10. We’re not alone, 78% of people surveyed say they want to do more to help make the natural environment healthier!

For more information about the Delaware Wetlands Survey please contact brittany.haywood@delaware.gov.


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