Delaware Sea Level Rise Awareness Week Events September 14-22

Sediment analyses, tide gauges, and visual observations have all shown evidence that sea levels are rising along Delaware’s coasts. In fact, the rate of rise in Delaware (about 13 inches over 100 years) is greater than the global average (about 7 inches over 100 years). This is because Delaware is also slowly sinking as the Earth’s crust adjusts to the changing pressure of melting polar ice masses. And, projections indicate that sea levels will continue to rise. Under a 1.5 meter increase in sea level, up to 11% of the land area within Delaware could be inundated by water.

In May 2012, “Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware,” was published by Delaware’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee. This document provides a comprehensive assessment of the extent of potential impacts that may impact our state.

Sea level rise may impact Delawareans in a number of ways. Roads and bridges may get flooded more frequently, impacting our transportation networks. Properties may experience water damage and the functionality of septic systems may be impaired by higher groundwater levels. Drinking water supplies may be more susceptible to contamination. And, natural ecosystems like our wetlands may change by higher water levels and saltier conditions altering habitats and wildlife present within our state.

In an effort to educate Delawareans about the potential impacts of sea level rise and options for adapting to changes and minimizing consequences, September 14-22, was declared Delaware Sea Level Rise Awareness Week! Events ranging from tree plantings and bird walks to panel discussions and film screenings are planned throughout the week! For complete details about Delaware’s Sea Level Rise Awareness Week events, visit:

The week long events are sponsored by: Delaware Nature Society; Delaware Center for Horticulture; Delaware Wild Lands; Delaware Center for the Inland Bays; Partnership for the Delaware Estuary; the Nature Conservancy; Clean Air Council; Sierra Club; Delaware Interfaith Power & Light; Delaware Greenways; GreenWatch Institute; League of Women Voters; Delmarva Ornithological Society; Delaware Audubon.

Volunteers still needed for tree planting events!

September 14 – Blackbird Creek Wildlife Area, Townsend (9:30 a.m.- noon)
Join 150 volunteers to plant trees at Blackbird Creek Wildlife Area. These native trees will help restore the natural environment, improve soil fertility, and reduce water issues such as erosion and flooding. Bring your own shovel, gloves and a water bottle. Parking is provided in the lot behind the truck weigh station at the intersection of Route 13 & Eagles Nest Landing Road (100 Eagles Nest Landing Rd, Townsend, DE). RSVP to

Lead organization: Delaware Nature Society. Co-sponsored by: Delaware Wild Lands, Delaware Audubon, Delaware Center for Horticulture, The Nature Conservancy – Delaware Chapter, Sierra Club – Delaware Chapter, Clean Air Council, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, St. Jones Reserve, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Service, UD Cooperative Extension

September 21 – Poplar Thicket Preserve, Millsboro (9 a.m.- noon)
Join other volunteers as we begin restoration at the Marian R. Oakie Memorial Wildlife Preserve at Poplar Thicket in Millsboro. This 226-acre property, a mix of farmland, forest, and tidal marsh on the north shore of the Indian River was recently donated to the people of Delaware. Come see this new public preserve, slated to be a bird sanctuary, and lend a hand in planting 2,000 seedling trees, grasses and shrubs. Poplar Thicket is on Long Neck Road 4 ½ miles east of the intersection of Rt. 24 (John J. Williams Hwy) and Long Neck Road. Parking is provided at the end of the gravel drive leading to the site. (GPS Coordinates: 38 deg 37 min 27.6 sec North / -75 deg 07 min 9.9 sec West). RSVP to

Lead organization: Delaware Center for the Inland Bays; Co-sponsored by: ; DNREC Dept of Fish and Wildlife and the DNREC Non Point Source program; Delaware Nature Society,Delaware Center for Horticulture, Delaware Audubon, Delaware Wild Lands, Sierra Club – Delaware Chapter