The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Fish & Wildlife recently purchased 48 acres of pristine woodlands along a tributary of the Nanticoke River in Sussex County.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recently purchased 48 acres of pristine woodlands along a tributary of the Nanticoke River in Sussex County.

The purchase was made through a public-private partnership between the state of Delaware, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the U.S. Navy.

As part of the state-owned Nanticoke Wildlife Area, the property adjoining Cod Creek features increasingly rare stands of Atlantic white cedar trees and an abundance of native wildlife, including some species of conservation concern.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Gov. Jack Markell; and DNREC Secretary David Small joined the partners at Phillips Landing to celebrate the addition. The land will be managed to protect wildlife habitat, while allowing future conservation-compatible public access. The property also expands a corridor of protected land beneath airspace used for naval flight research.

The Cod Creek property was purchased for $206,529, with $58,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, $68,529 in state funds from Delaware’s Open Space Program and $80,000 in private funds from the Chesapeake Conservancy, which contributed private funds for land conservation from Mt. Cuba Center.

The property is the fifth conservation acquisition in recent years to which the Chesapeake Conservancy has contributed private funds that helped leverage state money to preserve land and create public access along the Nanticoke River and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. A key addition to this acquisition was the additional federal dollars procured through the REPI program.