Birders seeking signs of the spring bird migration
University of Delaware researchers preparing for a marsh elevation study
Delaware Wild Lands’ Milford Neck Preserve is situated in the southeastern corner of Kent County along the shores of the Delaware Bay and includes more than three miles of shoreline and nearly 3,500 acres of beach, tidal marsh, coastal and upland forest, and agricultural lands.
Delaware Wild Lands began investing in this critical resource in 1985 with our first purchase of 1,775 acres from the Delaware Bay Transport Company. In the years since, Delaware Wild Lands has nearly doubled the size of our original holdings at Milford Neck through the acquisitions of the Polk, Hoppstein, Webb, and Mueller Farms.
Today, our Milford Neck land holdings, with contiguous lands owned by the State of Delaware and The Nature Conservancy in Delaware, form a block of 10,000 acres of protected land and nearly 10 miles of undeveloped bayshore that extends from the Mispillion River north to the Murderkill River. These collective holdings are characterized by miles of low-slope, sandy beaches backed by an extensive saltmarsh complex that extends up both rivers. This expanse serves as vital resting and foraging habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl migrating along the North Atlantic Flyway and exceptionally diverse habitat for songbirds and raptors, migrating horseshoe crabs, and numerous rare plants and amphibians.
As natural resources at Milford Neck remain relatively undisturbed by residential development and shoreline stabilization structures, many academic institutions and researchers conduct surveys to assess sea level inundation, model, dynamic surface water and ground water interactions, and monitor erosion and migration of coastal saltmarshes.
Milford Neck now stands as a shining example of cooperation of public and private entities in the research and protection of Delaware’s bird habitat and critical natural areas.