Dr. Sarah Anderson Willig is a Lecturer in the Professional Masters of Environmental Studies Program at University of Pennsylvania.
Tidal freshwater marshes are diverse, productive ecosystems that occur along the Delaware River and its tributaries from Wilmington, Delaware to Trenton, New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, extensive development of the limited area of Coastal Plain along the Delaware River for a variety of uses has led to severe reduction in the more extensive coverage of tidal freshwater marsh evident on historic maps. In Pennsylvania, certain plants associated with the tidal freshwater marsh such as wild rice (Zizania aquatica) and river bulrush (Schoenoplectus fluviatilis) are designated as state rare, while they are common in New Jersey. Restoration of tidal freshwater marsh as mitigation for wetland loss associated with infrastructure development and violations has occurred at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Bartram’s Garden, and Pennypack-on-the-Delaware. Remnant and restored tidal freshwater wetlands in New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be discussed as they afford opportunity for exploration, research, and recreation.
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