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Federal grant awarded for nature conservation in Taylors Bridge area

Amanda Parrish
Middletown Transcript

TOWNSEND -- The Delaware Wild Lands nonprofit organization recently received a $130,000 grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s 2020 Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund for the Taylors Bridge area near Townsend.

The Taylors Bridge area east of Townsend is characterized by the convergence of tidal marsh ecosystems and upland agricultural systems, both of which are vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise. Delaware Wild Lands is working to restore these areas by allowing for natural marsh migration.

The grant is for landowners seeking to conserve and restore natural areas that support native flora and fauna in the Delaware River watershed, said DWL in a press release Sept. 23.

The Taylors Bridge area supports 145 species of “greatest conservation need,” according to the Delaware Wildlife Action Plan. 

The grant will fund the planting of 7,000 native trees on 17 acres to create a 90-acre corridor between two forest tracts. It also will restore 25 acres of marginal agriculture with native grasses and wildflowers to enhance habitat quality and resilience. 

Notable species in the Taylors Bridge area include rare skipper, spotted and marbled salamanders, eastern box turtle, saltmarsh sparrow, wood thrush, American kestrel and bobwhite quail, which will all benefit from the restoration project.

Eastern box turtle is one of the many native species in the Taylors Bridge area that will benefit from the restoration project, according to Delaware Wild Lands, a nonprofit conservation organization.

Not only will the project support the area’s native species, but the community in and around Taylors Bridge will have cleaner air, purified water and reduced flooding, according to Delaware Wild Lands.

The two-year project is expected to start next year.