Center for the Inland Bays Begins Re-Forestation at Angola Neck with the Planting of 4,200 Native Trees

At the mouth of Love Creek where it flows into Rehoboth Bay, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is working to improve wildlife habitat and enhance water quality by re-foresting 40 acres of farm field on the Perry Tract at the Angola Neck Preserve.

This week, the CIB began the first phase of the project on 5.6 acres, planting 4,200 native trees and shrubs including shortleaf pine, willow oak, southern red oak, persimmon, American plum, northern bayberry, and viburnum to begin the first phase of the project.

Formally farmed in small grain, soybeans and corn, the project site is close to tidal wetlands, open water, streams, and sensitive wetland areas. When mature, the project will create a forested corridor from Love Creek to other wetland areas located further inland.

The lands will be reforested to a mixed hardwood (oak-hickory)/pine (shortleaf) forest community and will benefit native wildlife including many species of  neo-tropical migratory songbirds that arrive here each spring;  the Eastern Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat, Grasshopper Sparrow, Northern Parula, American Redstart, and Worm-eating warbler among others.

In addition to wildlife benefits, nutrient reduction is another goal of the project.  Levels of nitrogen and phosphorus remain high in all three Inland Bays and their tributaries including Love Creek.  High levels of nutrients in the Bays cause excess algae growth which can cloud the water column, blocking needed light from reaching seagrass on the bottom.  Excess nutrients can also deplete oxygen in the water as algae die and decompose.  A drop in oxygen levels can cause stress to fish and other marine animals, sometimes resulting in fish kills.

Reforestation of croplands results in significant nutrient reductions to waterways.  It is estimated that, when fully completed, this project will prevent 640 pounds of nitrogen and 16 pounds of phosphorus from entering the Bays each year. The reforestation of lands so close to the water will also help prevent erosion of the lands due to sea level rise.  

Project partners include Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation and Ducks Unlimited. The property is state owned and managed by Delaware State Parks. Funding is provided through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants.  The CIB, in addition to coordinating planting activities, will be coordinating volunteer participation in all planting phases.  

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.  For more information, or to learn how you can support this important work call visit our website at