Work done in partnership with Wild Earth Allies helped Delaware Wildlands restore their protected land.(Credit: Mike Bonnell CCP)
International partnership leads to great work!
Delaware Wild Lands (DWL) has protected and restored a nearly 200-acre tract of land found in their much larger Great Cypress Swamp. Overall efforts in the swamp have already protected 10,000 acres on the Delmarva Peninsula, and current efforts have restored the land with bald cypress and Atlantic white cedar plantings. In partnering with the international organization Wild Earth Allies, their project will go on as an example of best practices in land management and conservation partnership. While the project did not consist of additional acquisition, its leveraging of unique partnerships and enhancement of land management makes it an important model for ongoing work done by the members of the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership. This makes for a true success story involving creative conservation to enhance our efforts on the path to conserving 30% of the watershed by 2030.
Wild Earth Allies (WEA) works across priority terrestrial and marine ecosystems globally to advance their mission “to protect vital areas of our natural world for the benefit of wildlife, habitats, and people by inspiring collaborative action.” The partnership between WEA and DWL leverages the strengths of both organizations. The “local to global” initiative of the project sets out to engage new audiences through WEA’s international reach and experience, and DWL’s large landholdings. The groups are working to enhance conservation delivery, expand their constituencies, and increase financial flows for conservation. Providing opportunities like these for international partners looking to expand efforts to your state can improve both organizations’ efforts.
This project consists of
- Botanic inventory of the Great Cypress Swamp,
- Accelerated restoration of forested wetland habitat, with a focus on diminished native trees such as bald cypress and Atlantic white cedar, and
- Establishment of an adaptive restoration monitoring system.
All of this served to enhance the ecosystem services of the DWL-owned Great Cypress Swamp, as well as improve the effectiveness of their management, and the diversity and inclusion of their support team. Creative partnerships like these that can improve both the land and the strength of the teams that work to protect them in Delaware and beyond should be recreated throughout the watershed at the CCP wherever possible.