Shoreline restoration at the DBG

Horizontal bracing is installed on the Anchor Branch Toe of the Delaware Botanic Garden’s living shoreline.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) is inviting the public to attend the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Citizen’s Café at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. The meeting will be hosted as an online video conference.

The October Café will focus on the importance of restoring the Inland Bays watershed and addressing years of nutrient pollution and habitat loss that continue to challenge the watershed. Murky waters overcome with algae, sparse bay grasses and oysters, and areas suffering from unhealthy oxygen levels are considered among the greatest challenges facing the waterways.

It’s not all bad news, though, CIB representatives said. Thanks to decades of work by diverse groups including local homeowners, businesses, farmers, and boaters, there are some signs that the bays are moving toward a healthier state necessary for continuing to support the wildlife and coastal communities that depend on them.

“To get there, we need everyone’s help,” they said.

Guest speaker Brian Trader, deputy executive director and director of horticulture at the Delaware Botanic Gardens, will highlight a new living-shoreline project taking root in partnership with the CIB.. The engineered shorelines employ materials such as native plants, oyster shells and sand to “work with nature” instead of against it, as is the case with traditional hardened structures, such as bulkheads. Living shorelines help prevent erosion and reduce wave energy, filter stormwater runoff, and maintain natural beach or wetland habitat for wildlife.

Marianne Walch, science & restoration coordinator at the center, will join the conversation to share updates on forest restoration efforts in the Inland Bays watershed. Reforestation not only restores critical habitat for birds and other wildlife, but also is a cost-effective way to reduce nutrient pollution entering the bays, she noted.

The Citizen’s Café will take place virtually via Zoom. Pre-registration is required. More details can be found on the center’s website at https://www.inlandbays.org/about/committees/citizens-advisor/. Those unable to attend the meeting are still welcome to submit their concerns about the Inland Bays watershed through the provided link.

For more information, contact Lisa Swanger at (302) 226-8105, ext. 103 or  lswanger@inlandbays.org, or visit www.inlandbays.org.