The generally slow and meandering Johnson’s Branch has morphed into Johnson’s Swamp, flooding all low lying areas. While floods and storm surges may be viewed as unpredictable disasters, marine and freshwater edge habitats are inherently dynamic in nature and human land use often influences the severity of these events through increased run-off, reduced percolation, and expensive infrastructure located in these areas.
This natural process has shaped southern Delaware’s streamside forests for thousands of years. The periodic flooding of these areas made them difficult to farm or build on, which is the reason that many of these forests still line the floodplains of the region. Indicator soils, plants, and animals in these areas are adapted to survive and thrive in this dynamic habitat. The waters deposit rich soil and water-borne seeds, which in turn supports new plant growth, slowly building up the land. Trees, uprooted by the high waters or wind, provide a damming effect. All of these events contribute to the alteration of the stream channel.
Take the time to look closer at the plants and animals that live along Delaware’s waterways and discover the unique adaptations that allow them to persist through floods and the other extreme, droughts.
The Eagles at Conowingo trip has been rescheduled to Friday, November 20th, 8am to noon. If you would like to reserve a spot, visit www.delawarenaturesociety.org or call (302) 239-2334 ext. 134.