Key Terms

Riparian Zone:

Narrow areas along the margins of ivers, streams and other waterbodies. Managed properly with a diversity of vegetation, these narrow strips provide habitat for many wildlife species and play a critical role in maintaining the water quality of adjacent wetlands.

The Education and Outreach Initiative will seek to educate natural resource and land use professionals and the public about biodiversity values; strengthen and coordinate existing biodiversity education programs; and actively involve individuals and local communities in biodiversity conservation.


  • Engage a broad spectrum of Delaware’s population in biodiversity conservation through traditional education and outreach.
  • Promote a coordinated statewide media strategy that provides current information on biological diversity to the citizens of Delaware.
  • Coordinate and support existing public and private education efforts that offer biodiversity education opportunities. Strengthen and expand the existing network of groups and individuals that communicate with the public about biodiversity.
  • Promote the use of biodiversity conservation tools such as conservation easements and incentive programs.

Bald Eagle:
In 2000, biologists monitored 16 nests statewide, which produced 14 chicks. This represents a comeback from a low of three nests in 1978.

Priority Actions:

Delaware’s environmental outreach network should be expanded and revitalized to educate all sectors about the importance of biodiversity conservation. Existing programs can be coordinated to send a unified message to targeted audiences about the importance of biodiversity conservation as a component of the Livable Delaware Initiative. Targeted audiences should include decision-makers, students, homeowners, land managers and landowners, media, natural resource and land use professionals.

1. Increase biodiversity education and outreach opportunities for the public.

a. Incorporate biodiversity education in existing programming within agencies such as DNREC, Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Delaware Nature Society and other relevant efforts.

b. Engage citizens in hands-on research and educational efforts to promote biological diversity.

2. Create and implement a media outreach, marketing and public relations strategy to inform and educate the public as a whole on the value of Delaware’s biological diversity.

a. Ensure the best information about biodiversity is available on the DNREC web page including biodiversity-related grant applications, resources for teachers and maps of resource protection areas.

b. Develop a strategy to inform news media on needs and accomplishments of the conservation of biodiversity effort.

3. Create and implement an education/outreach program focused on decision-makers regarding the value and importance of protecting Delaware’s biological diversity.

a. Target state and local elected officials and appointed planning board or commission officials through workshops, personal visits, seminars and field experiences.

b. Provide educational opportunities to landowners to encourage participation in incentive and cost share programs that foster biodiversity protection. As part of this effort, incentive programs such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and the Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Program will be promoted and publicized.

c. Increase education opportunities for landowners to learn about conservation easements and other land protection options.


Biodiversity Home Page

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