S.B. becomes a Certified Wildlife Habitat CommunityDate Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
SLAUGHTER BEACH, Del. (May 30, 2015) – Town of Slaughter Beach officials and residents gathered with DNREC Secretary David Small, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O’Mara, state legislators and representatives from the Delaware Nature Society and the Alliance of Bay Communities to celebrate Slaughter Beach’s new designation as a National Wildlife Federation-certified Community Wildlife Habitat. Secretary Small also unveiled new Bayshore signage highlighting the community and its wildlife.
“Through the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, we continue to build on Delaware’s reputation as a unique and beautiful natural resource, and to encourage more Delawareans and visitors to enjoy our state as a world-class birding and wildlife-watching destination,” said Governor Jack Markell. “I commend the Slaughter Beach community for their conservation efforts and congratulate them on their well-earned designation as a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat.”
“Since we launched the Bayshore Initiative here in Slaughter Beach in 2012, we have worked closely with our conservation partners in Bayshore communities to further the initiative’s goals, including restoring and protecting fish and wildlife habitat,” said Secretary Small. “Slaughter Beach is an exemplary model of how Bayshore communities can incorporate habitat stewardship into their backyards and open spaces, and it serves well as a great hub for the Delaware Bayshore and its natural treasures.”
“The community of Slaughter Beach is proud and pleased with the town being designated a Wildlife Habitat Community by the National Wildlife Federation as well as dedicating our new educational welcome sign with information and pictures of the many shorebirds that visit and feast on the horseshoe crab eggs,” said Slaughter Beach Mayor Bill Krause. “Much thanks to the many people and organizations who have come together to make all of this happen. I’d especially like to thank the Delaware Nature Society, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the Division of Fish & Wildlife for helping with the certification process, and the Delaware Bayshore team for all their hard work on the sign. Lastly, to those who haven’t come to our corner of the Bayshore, or who haven’t been here lately, I’d like to invite you to come and visit our town park, pavilion and beach, to enjoy and to learn.”
The new full-color interpretive signage welcoming visitors to the Delaware Bayshore and the Town of Slaughter Beach has been installed beside the town pavilion under a protective roof and on a base of pavers. It features a detailed guide to the shorebirds found on Slaughter Beach; facts about the Atlantic horseshoe crab including how to “flip” them; the spring migration of shorebirds and fall migration of monarch butterflies, and a cautionary tale of avoiding terrapins in the road. The signage also highlights Slaughter Beach’s location in the heart of Delaware’s Bayshore, an area known nationally and internationally for hosting the spring spectacle of spawning horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds including federally-threatened red knots that depend on horseshoe crab eggs to help fuel their 9,000-mile journey. Also included is the town’s recognition as a horseshoe crab sanctuary by the Ecological Research and Development Group’s Backyard Stewardship Program, and as a National Wildlife Federation-certified Community Wildlife Habitat.
Signage content development, printing and fabrication as well as the structure were funded by Bayshore Bond funds and Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds available through DNREC to Bayshore towns impacted by a 2006 oil spill from the cargo ship Bermuda Islander. Slaughter Beach also received a grant from Sussex County for the pavers and landscaping. The state Office of Management and Budget provided design services at no charge to DNREC and photographs were donated by Ken Arni, Chris Bennett, Bill McSpadden, Holly Niederriter and Tony Pratt.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitat program has been helping people take personal action on behalf of wildlife for more than 40 years. The program engages homeowners, businesses, schools, churches, parks and other institutions that want to make their communities wildlife-friendly and create multiple habitat areas in backyards, schoolyards, corporate properties, community gardens, parkland and other spaces. To date, 83 communities nationwide have been recognized with Community Wildlife Habitat certification, with Slaughter Beach as the third community recognized in Delaware.