The Delaware Bay Coastal Program (DBCP) is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Coastal Program. We work through partnerships to conserve the ecological integrity of fish and wildlife resources of the Delaware Bay and its watershed as well as the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey. We partner with private individuals, non-governmental organizations, states, municipalities, and Federal agencies. We strive to provide a meaningful contribution to the conservation and restoration of our priority natural resources.
We are a small and flexible program able to work with a variety of partners on strategic priorities. We set our priorities based on our knowledge of the conservation needs of the landscape we work in as well as careful consideration of partner interests outlined in State Wildlife Action Plans, Watershed Plans, scientific reports, and other sources.
What We Do
We currently focus much of our time and resources on making a meaningful impact on these three priorities.
Delaware Bay shorebirds
Monitoring the delicate balance between the second largest population of spring migrating shorebirds in North America and the food source they rely on, the eggs of the largest spawning population of horseshoe crabs in the world. Data collected on these species are directly applied to ongoing conservation efforts.
Coastal Resilience and shoreline habitats
Conserving and restoring beach and intertidal shoreline habitats relied on by fish, wildlife, and communities. We facilitate ecologically-responsible solutions to shoreline erosion and beach degradation to create shores resilient to storms, sea level rise, and navigational impacts for the benefit of many coastal habitat-dependent species, including shorebirds and beach nesting birds.
Delaware and New Jersey salt marshes
Conserving, restoring, and studying the vulnerable salt marshes of Delaware and New Jersey to protect and improve the habitat of the unique variety of fish and wildlife relying on them. We especially explore novel restoration and monitoring techniques that address tidal marsh birds such as saltmarsh sparrow and black rail.
Our Secondary Priority
Though we are focused primarily on the above priorities, we focus on efforts that connect people with nature as resources allow. We believe this is important to the watershed and communities that reside within it. We provide funding, organizing, technical, and on-the-ground assistance through partnerships we are currently part of.
Connecting people with nature
Supporting efforts to get students and communities outside and have meaningful experiences in nature in the lower Delaware River Watershed and to learn through outreach associated with our restoration and conservation projects we work on throughout our work area.
Click the link below to learn more about some of our special projects.
Black Rail: Federally Listed (threatened), State-Listed (NJ and DE)
Black Skimmer: USFWS Bird of Conservation Concern 2021, State-Listed (NJ and DE)
Least Tern: State-Listed (NJ and DE)
Piping Plover: Federally Listed (threatened), State-Listed (NJ and DE)
Ruddy Turnstone: USFWS Bird of Conservation Concern 2021
Rufa Red Knot: Federally Listed (threatened), State-Listed (NJ and DE)
Saltmarsh Sparrow: USFWS At-Risk, USFWS Bird of Conservation Concern 2021
Willet: USFWS Bird of Conservation Concern 2021
If you are interested in pursuing a project that ties in with any of our above listed priorities, please contact our office or reach out to one of our staff!