Pristine Bald Cypress-Atlantic Cedar Wetlands Protected
Bald eagle chicks and Delmarva fox squirrels are two animals that live in the Pocomoke River watershed. Photos by Dave Menke and WH Julian.
The Pocomoke River originates in Delaware and flows south through Wicomico, Worchester, and Somerset Counties in Maryland prior to discharging into the Chesapeake Bay in Tangier Sound. The entire Pocomoke River watershed is considered to be a “biodiversity hotspot” – a highly significant region for rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals.
Now through the efforts of the Pocomoke River Conservation Partnership, 290 acres of unique southern bald cypress - Atlantic white cedar forested wetland will be protected. Located across from Hickory Point Cypress Swamp Natural Heritage Area (NHA), known to support twelve state-listed species, including the state-endangered Swainson’s warbler, the property is considered to be an extension of the ecologically significant habitat found at Hickory Point
Uplands adjacent to this property served as a translocation site for the federally-endangered Delmarva fox squirrel and there are three bald eagle nests directly across the river from this property. Both Delmarva fox squirrels and bald eagles have been observed on the property.
This is part of a larger effort involving two North American Wetland Conservation Act grants to protect 2,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat in the watershed The Chesapeake Bay Field Office Coastal Program initiated this project, wrote the grant proposals, and continues to lead the effort and work with the partners and landowners to protect these lands. Other members of the Partnership include Maryland Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund and Worcester County, Maryland.
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Southern bald cypress trees in Pocomoke River watershed. Photo by Dan Murphy, USFWS.