Delaware celebrates Estuary Day

DOVER — Delaware is putting the spotlight on estuaries and their importance in nature by participating in National Estuaries Week, Sept. 17-24.

The week culminates Saturday with several events planned at the Delaware National Estuarine Research at St. Jones Reserve and at Blackbird Reserve.

“Estuaries give back to our community in so many ways, including improving the quality of our water and reducing floods,” said DNERR Education Coordinator Maggie Pletta. “But estuaries do even more than that. Our estuary is an ‘outdoor classroom,’ providing opportunities to learn and have fun in a natural environment.”

Events start at 9 a.m. St. Jones Reserve is at 818 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, and Blackbird Reserve is at 801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend.

Events at St. Jones Reserve:

  • Open House, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Explore the reserve’s buildings and get a sneak peak at upcoming exhibits. Visitors also can learn more about the volunteer and citizen science opportunities offered. No preregistration required.
  • Guided Nature Hike to Kingston Upon Hull, 10 a.m.-noon. Kingston Upon Hull is a historic building located on the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area. Wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to walk approximately 2 miles on uneven terrain.
  • Explore the St. Jones River by Boat, 4-4:45 p.m. and 5-5:45 p.m. A 24-foot skiff will be used on an expedition on the St. Jones River. Designed for ages 5 to adult, this program will meet at Scotton Landing off Barkers Landing Road in Dover. Life preserve vests will be provided and must be worn. When registering, please specify which trip time you wish to attend.
  • Explore the Estuary at Night with a Campfire, 7-8 p.m. Visitors will hear about the history of fire and the role it plays in the natural environment. All ages welcome to attend. Participants, who must bring their own roasting supplies and sticks, can roast marshmallows. This program meets at the John Dickinson Plantation Visitor Center.

Events at Blackbird Creek:

  • Give Back to the Bay on National Estuaries Day! 9 a.m.-noon. Trees will be planted so volunteers will need to supply their own work gloves and wear long pants and closed-toed shoes.
  • Guided Nature Hike at Blackbird Creek, 1-2 p.m. While on a short hike through the woods people can learn more about native tree species and how to identify them.

To preregister for these events, and for more information, visit:

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