DNREC Acquires 750 Acres for Preservation - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DNREC Acquires 750 Acres for Preservation

BOWERS BEACH, Del. - The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control held an event Wednesday to celebrate the acquisition of the 750-acre Vance Morris Tract in the Ted Harvey Conservation Area. The land was previously owned by the Morris family and now will be preserved by the state.

Ten people spoke at the event including DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara.

"It shows we have a big vision, we really want to protect the area of the coastal zone from Delaware City all the way down to Lewes," he said. "The fact that it started with friendships and a belief in conservation and it allows us to do great things that bigger states can't pull off with the same kind of speed."

The land is known for its extensive bird and fish habitat. Certain areas of the tract will also be open to the hunting public in season.

Two $1 million federal grants as well as $4 million in public and private matching funds came together to preserve the wetland area. One of the grants came from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). The private funds came from organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy Delaware Chapter and the Delmarva Ornithological Society.

US Senator Chris Coons, D - Delaware, spoke at the event about how this group effort impacts Delaware.

"The reason this is a big deal, the reason it's a Delaware story, is it's essential to assembling a much larger parcel for preservation," he explained. "The folks that came together to do it did it in a very typical Delaware way by contributing of the resources, their energy and their respect for Delaware's sporting heritage."

US Congressman John Carney, D- Delaware, also spoke about the land acquisition's importance.

"It preserves land in perpetuity, forever if you will, people do appreciate our bayshore and the shoreline that we have here," he said. "Maybe they don't understand all the connections of habitat and preservation but that's really important in terms of wildlife."

This is just one of three land tracts covering over 3,000 acres by the Delaware Bay.

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