The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve consists of two
components: 1,087 acres of freshwater wetlands, ponds, and forest lands in
Blackbird Creek, and 5,119 acres of salt marsh and open water habitats on
the St. Jones River on Delaware Bay.
The Blackbird Creek watershed is a predominantly rural area consisting of
wetlands, forests, and agricultural lands. The St. Jones River watershed
has significant development in upstream non-tidal area, where urbanized
Dover dominates the middle and upper watershed.
Habitats found in this reserve support major spawning areas for horseshoe
crabs each spring, and the resulting eggs provide fuel for migratory
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