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EPA Grant to Benefit Delaware’s Wetlands

Release Date: 4/29/2003
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh presented a check today to State Secretary John Hughes, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, for $105,359 to help enhance and protect the quality of wetlands in Delaware. This regional kickoff for National Wetlands Month was held at Haines Farm in Kent County, Delaware.

We are pleased to work with our Delaware state partners to help stem wetlands loss and improve wetlands restoration,” said Welsh. “Restored wetlands are a valuable, low-cost strategy for improving habitat and water quality.”

In the past 10 years, more than 300 acres of wetlands have been restored in Delaware. This grant award will help study how effective current wetlands restoration construction and design techniques are for biotic communities in restored wetlands. The goal of this project is to improve future wetlands restoration in Delaware and surrounding areas, including more than 100 acres of wetlands that are predicted to be restored in Delaware in the next several years.

Since 1990, EPA wetlands program development grants have been competitively awarded to help state and local governments to improve wetlands programs. Since 1995 Congress has appropriated $15 million annually to support the wetlands grant program nationally. State interest in the program continues to grow.

Since 1991, EPA has awarded Delaware 20 state wetlands grants, many focused on wetland restoration efforts. The results of this strong partnership has brought significant improvements in the quality of Delaware’s wetlands’ restoration efforts.

Wetlands are a valuable natural resource, providing many important benefits to the environment, including helping improve water quality, reducing flood and storm damages, and providing important fish and wildlife habitat. Wetlands are transition areas between land and water. Delaware’s wetlands include forested swamps, streamside wetlands, Delmarva Bays, freshwater marshes and salt marshes.

Over half of the Delaware’s original wetlands have been lost or converted to other uses, with the rate of loss declining dramatically over the last 30 years. EPA strives to achieve no net loss of wetlands and move towards an annual net gain. Additional information on wetlands and how the public can help is available at