Editor:

The water, wildlife, and way of life in Sussex County have improved due to the recent purchase of lands for conservation by the Sussex County Council.

Last month, nearly 18 acres of woods, fields and wetlands off Route 24 bordering Herring Creek were permanently protected for the benefit of residents and visitors to Sussex County. This was the second such acquisition in a short amount of time, and together these actions signal the County’s commitment to natural resource conservation — a pillar of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

This acquisition will maintain and has the potential to restore water quality in the highly-polluted Herring Creek. Like many tributaries of the Inland Bays, Herring Creek suffers from excess nutrient inputs from a variety of sources.

By protecting the forested buffers on the property from development, the acquisition ensures that these areas will continue to provide clean water to the Creek. The streamside woodlands and wetlands will also continue to provide essential habitat for the animals of the estuary that rely on both aquatic and terrestrial environments to complete their life cycle.

Conservation of natural lands is an essential element to protecting the Inland Bays, and it supports their Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan. No one action alone can restore the health of such an economically and ecologically important waterbody. Instead, the work is accomplished by a series of integrated actions from multiple partners. It is wonderful to see the County facilitating the conversion of septic systems to central sewerage in this area of the County as well.

The Center for the Inland Bays wishes to thank the County Council and their fantastic employees for their leadership and commitment to clean water in Sussex. It is our hope that conservation continues and expands for the benefit of the County’s residents and visitors alike.

Chris Bason, Executive Director

Delaware Center for the Inland Bays