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Project Overview

The Delmarva Wetland Partnership is a unique collaborative effort to dramatically increase the implementation of wetlands and other land restoration projects across the Delmarva Peninsula. The partnership includes The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Ducks Unlimited, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). 

Wetlands are a vital part of the landscapes across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. They provide a multitude of benefits such as wildlife habitat, clean water, flood protection and climate resiliency. The Bay watershed has experienced a dramatic loss of historical wetland coverage, and in consequence the area and its people has also lost many of this critical feature's ecosystem services.  

Our partnership focuses on engaging landowners to voluntarily implement wetlands in the Maryland and Delaware portions of the Delmarva Peninsula, a key region in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Due to development and drainage projects, this area has lost approximately 50% of its historic wetlands.

By working together, our organizations capitalize on each other's strengths and maximize our capacity for landowner engagement and project implementation. The partnership has utilized a unique socio-ecological systems approach to landowner engagement. Using the best natural science, we target lands where restoration projects can have the most significant environmental impacts. We then use social science to understand landowner views, motivations and engagement needs. From this, our team delivers tailored engagement strategies and works directly with interested landowners to plan and build wetlands, among other restoration projects with ecological benefits. 

Project Report (download PDF)

Meeting the Bay's Wetland Goals: Insights from the Delmarva Wetland Partnership
September 2022

Recent Articles

Using Structured Decision Making to Evaluate Wetland Restoration Opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (PDF)

This study uses structured decision making (SDM) as a process for evaluating the desirability of numerous restoration options, with a case study on the Outer Coastal Plain of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This study highlights the advantages of SDM to structure large-scale restoration decisions. In doing so, this work offers a roadmap toward further developing SDM in future applied restoration contexts.

David M. Martin, Amy D. Jacobs, Chase McLean, Michelle R. Canick, Kathleen Boomer

Environmental Management / Published online October 8, 2022

Project Team Members

Amy Jacobs, The Nature Conservancy MD/DC

Mike Dryden, The Nature Conservancy MD/DC

Chase Colmorgen, Ducks Unlimited

Daniel Lawson, USDA NRCS

Matthew Houser, The Nature Conservancy MD/DC and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, HPL

Chase McLean, The Nature Conservancy MD/DC

Steve Strano, USDA NRCS

Sarah Hilderbrand, MD DNR

Rich Mason, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Julie Devers, USDA NRCS

Leah Franzluebbers, US Fish and Wildlife Service