The St. Jones Reserve component of the DNERR is located in Dover, Delaware and has a 1-mile walking trail crossing the salt marsh. Salt marshes are incredibly diverse and dynamic habitats but are susceptible to change. For example, salt marshes may migrate into surrounding forests (creating ‘ghost forests’) as a result of increased inundation often attributed to coastal surge and sea level rise. Additionally, tidal channels change shape as a result of typical tidal flows, coastal storms and rising sea levels. The expansion of invasive species like Phragmites australis may also change salt marshes by outcompeting native marsh plant species such as Spartina species (cord grasses). Your photographs are valuable scientific data points that assist in monitoring these types of changes. Thank you for your assistance!
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a partnership between the coastal states and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Currently, there are 29 reserves in this network including the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR). The DNERR’s state partner is the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control within the Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy and has two components: the St. Jones and Blackbird Creek Reserves. The DNERR promotes effective stewardship of estuarine and coastal ecosystems through education, outreach, partnerships and research.