DNREC to host Wetlands Celebration

DOVER – DNREC is celebrating May as American Wetlands Month with a variety of activities to honor wetlands as an important natural resource that plays key roles in protecting Delawareans from storms and flooding and providing habitat for wildlife. DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program will highlight wetlands by hosting a family event, releasing a new wetland video, and posting wetlands trivia and stories online.

To kick off the month, the 2nd Annual Wetlands Celebration will be held in conjunction with the 15th Annual Get in Gear Family Bike Rally from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel. These two events have joined together to provide fun and engaging entertainment for the whole family that brings awareness to Delmarva’s wetlands and the critters that inhabit them, as well as offering a unique mix of outdoor recreation, science, art, and history.

The Wetlands Celebration features interactive activities, exhibitors, demos, live music, and games. Families will find plenty to do, including self-guided wetland walks, enter to win a rain barrel, scavenger hunt, and free pontoon boat tours of Trap Pond. Boat tours will be offered every hour, with the last one pulling out at 2 p.m., and provide a brief history of the pond and some of the plants and animals that call Trap Pond home. Rental fees for the park’s canoes and kayaks are covered by the event admission.

Exhibitors include Delaware Museum of Natural History, DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program, Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, Rehoboth Art League, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Tri-State Bird Rescue, and Trap Pond State Park. Snacks will be available for purchase from food trucks.

Run by Trap Pond Partners, the Get in Gear Family Bike Rally starts at 10:30 a.m. and will traverse the perimeter of Trap Pond. Registration for the Bike Rally is $10 per person or $25 per family, and it is requested that you bring your own bike. All funds go to support Trap Pond State Park. To register or to get more information about the event, please visit the Wetlands Celebration website.

Park admission will be covered by the Bike Rally entry fee, or by mentioning the Wetlands Celebration at the fee booth; the first 150 cars that go through the booth also will receive free park admission. This outdoor event is rain or shine, but some of the day’s activities are weather-permitting.

Other Delaware American Wetlands Month activities include:

· Wetland Warrior Award Nominations: Nominations for the 2018 Delaware Wetland Warrior Award will accepted through June 22. Now in its 11th year, the award recognizes students, teachers, classrooms, citizens, or organizations that have demonstrated exemplary efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands. The awards will be presented on Governor’s Day at the Delaware State Fair in July. Find more information about submitting a nominee at de.gov/wetlandwarriors.

· Social Media Campaign: Each week during the month of May the Delaware Wetlands social media accounts will be posting trivia questions, highlighting unique wetlands around the state and focusing on how wetlands naturally provide important services to us every day.

DNREC’s American Wetlands Month activities are organized by the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program. For more information, about wetlands and the program please visit de.gov/delawarewetlands.