OLLI members at the University of Delaware in Lewes and Ocean View recently had the opportunity to sign up for a new class taught by Susan Ball, chair of the Citizens Advisory Board of the Delaware Inland Bays and vice chair of the board at the Center for the Inland Bays in Ocean View, Delaware.
Participants in the Fall 2017 “What Lies Beneath Our Inland Bays” class learned that the Delaware inland bays — comprised of Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay — lie just behind a narrow spit of land in sight of the Atlantic Ocean and serve as the backbone of Delaware’s coastal resort area. The inland bays contain salt marshes, submerged aquatic vegetation and winding creeks, which support an abundance of fish and birds.
A field trip to the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View, Delaware, was a class highlight. The preserve contains 150 acres of maritime forest, meadows, salt marsh and sandy beach on the Indian River Bay. The class learned about hands-on environmental literacy educational programs for local students and youth organizations. Bob Collins, manager of James Farm, explained how the shells of native hard clams and oysters are used in environmental restoration projects to clean water, stabilize shorelines and reintroduce oyster reefs in the inland bays, as well as how the center is experimenting with living shorelines in response to sea level rise.